In a momentous development for Indian para-badminton, 23-year-old Arati Patil from Kolhapur, supported by the Punit Balan Group (PBG), has officially confirmed her participation in the upcoming BWF Para Badminton World Championships 2024. The prestigious championship is scheduled to take place in Pattaya, Thailand, from February 20 to 25.
Arati Patil, currently ranked 13th in the women's singles (Standing/upper limb impairment) SU5 world rankings, has been making waves in the para-badminton circuit. Her remarkable journey includes a mixed doubles silver medal at the 2017 Asian Youth Para Games and seven bronze medals in women's singles and doubles events at various international para-badminton competitions. Arati is also a Khelo India gold medalist, showcasing her prowess and determination in the sport.
Expressing his confidence in Arati's potential, Punit Balan, Chairman & Managing Director of PBG, stated, “The Punit Balan Group has always believed that by investing in the dreams of athletes, we contribute to the larger narrative of India’s sporting success. Arati Patil is an exceptional talent. We are delighted to fuel her aspirations as she competes on the world stage. I am confident that she will bring laurels to the country at the World Championships. I wish her all the best,”
Having previously competed at the BWF Para Badminton World Championships in 2019, Arati is determined and thrilled to be qualified for the 2024 edition. She expressed gratitude for the unwavering support from Punit Balan and PBG, emphasizing the relief from financial burdens, which enables her to focus entirely on her game. Arati acknowledged that the backing has opened doors to top-tier coaching and advanced training facilities, enhancing her ability to achieve the goals she has set for herself.
In a significant move towards nurturing indigenous talent, PBG has committed financial backing to Arati for the next three years, totaling INR 33 lakh. This support not only ensures her preparedness for the upcoming Paralympic Games in 2024 but also underscores PBG's commitment to promoting and supporting sports initiatives. With investments in nine sporting leagues and endorsements for nearly 60 budding Indian sports talents, PBG continues to play a crucial role in fostering sports excellence both nationally and globally.