(Last Updated on : 06/07/2015)
Harry Boniface Prabhu is an Indian quadriplegic wheelchair tennis player, one of the pioneers of the sport in India.
He was medal winner at the 1978 World Championships. He was awarded the Padma Shri Awards
winner, the fourth highest civilian award, by the Government of India
, in the year 2014.
Early Life of Harry Boniface Prabhu
Boniface Prabhu was born to Harry J. Prabhu and Fathima Prabhu, on 14th May 1972, at Bangalore, in Karnataka, as a normal child like his two brothers, Jerry and George. The tragedy struck at the age of four, when a blotched lumbar puncture made him a quadriplegic for the rest of his life. However, he was brought up by his parents as a normal boy, sending him to institutions for normal children whom helped the young Boniface to take up life as any competitive person would. Boniface Prabhu was fascinated with tennis at an early age when he used to be a fan of Ivan Lendl and John Macenroe. During his participation of the World Wheelchair Athletic Meet of 1996 in the UK, he chanced upon a game of wheelchair tennis and developed an instant liking to it. On returning to India, he approached Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association for permission to use their courts for practice which he was granted. He talked to a local tennis coach and impressed upon him to teach him the game. He was a fast learner and in two years time, he started participating in tournaments.
Career of Harry Boniface Prabhu
Harry Boniface Prabhu has excelled in other disciplines, too. He has represented India, at International events, in six disciplines, over 50 times. These include athletics, shot put, badminton, javelin throw; table tennis, shooting and discus throw, apart from wheelchair tennis. His foray into international sports was at the 1996 World Wheelchair Games, UK where he won gold medal in shot put and silver medal in discus throw. Two years later, he repeated the feat at the 1998 Paralympics World Championships, participating in javelin, shot put and discus throws. He is the first Indian to win a medal in the International Paralympic Games.
Social Life of Harry Boniface Prabhu
Harry Boniface Prabhu is the founder of a trust, Boniface Prabhu Wheelchair Tennis Academy, based in Bengaluru
, with the aim of promoting the physically and intellectually challenged people and providing them with opportunities to nurture their talents. The Academy provides free sports training to differently enabled people.
Personal Life of Harry Boniface Prabhu
Harry Boniface Prabhu is married to Christina and the couple has a daughter, Simone Diya