A 25 year-old Turkish Paralympic tennis player, who represented her country in 2016 Rio Paralympics, said sports changed her life.
Paralympian Busra Un was the guest of Anadolu Agency sports talks, where she talked about her sports life, education and the upcoming December 3 International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
“Sports changed my life, my personal development and gave me new set of goals,” Un said, expressing her gratitude to her mother.
“I was never a shy kid. I owe that to my mother. I went to guitar course, theatre course and even went to shopping with my mother,” she said. “I was not excluded from what other children with no disabilities did.”
Un also said that after starting to play tennis, she noticed that she was good at it.
“I said to myself, ‘I can achieve something’. That felt good. I was even encouraged to improve a foreign language,” she said.
Speaking about her education, Un said sports opened new doors to her for her education.
Un, who is doing a masters degree in sports management and leadership at Cardiff Metropolitan University, said she now wants to excel academically.
When asked about her disability, Un said she was in a wheelchair because of a tumor — which went unnoticed when she was a child — grew up and damaged her lower body.
Un, who started playing wheelchair tennis in 2009, has been going strong since then.
When asked about what changed in her life when she became a Paralympian in 2016, Un said people are proud of her.
“When I first started playing tennis, people told me that ‘at least you have something’. Now, when social media and the press talked about me, I can see that people are proud of me, people calling me ‘a national team athlete’ makes me happy.”
Busra Un became the first Turkish Paralympian athlete in wheelchair tennis to represent her country in Paralympics.
– Paralympic quotas for Tokyo 2020
The 25-year-old Paralympian added that she needed to be in the top 32 among the 500 athletes in the world by June 2020 to get into the quota for the next Paralympic Games.
She is now on the 36th place in the women’s category.
“[Wheelchair tennis] is the hardest sports category to get an olympic quota. During a four-year period, you need to participate in tournaments and be among the top 32 women athletes in the world, or in top 64 in men’s category,” she said.
“Because of my disability, I can’t use my waist, which is a major disadvantage. I am now in 36th place [in women’s category]. I need to be in top 32 until June 2020.”
– ‘Disabled people should be remembered everyday’
Asked about her opinion on the upcoming December 3 International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Un said it is a good thing for a day like it to exist.
Un stressed that the December 3 should not be seen as “at least having one day to raise awareness.”
“It is good to have [December 3]. But everybody should be conscious that we exist everyday. We are one of you,” she said.
– Paralympian Un’s visit to Anadolu Agency
Paralympian Busra Un was also received by Anadolu Agency Deputy Director General Metin Mutanoglu.
Un thanked Mutanoglu for Anadolu Agency coverage of her in the tournaments.
“What you do is very valuable to us. We work for having a wider press coverage. I would like to thank you personally and on behalf of other athletes,” she said.
Deputy Director General Mutanoglu said “It is our duty to do so. We are proud of you. One title, or award you get, makes us all happy.”
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