Young sailor from Chennai participates in world championship

Chennai: “Sailing is all about science, physics in particular. I think, learning it scientifically has been a plus and helped me win,” says young prodigy, Neel Anand, who participated in the Asian Games last year.

A resident of Senneer Kuppam near Porur, the young sailor has represented India several times and won laurels to our nation.

Currently, the 16-year-old champ is representing India in the Sailing World Championships. News Today had a conversation with the youngster to learn more about him.

Speaking about his journey, Neel said, “I started practicing sailing when I was eight years old. Initially, my parents wanted my elder brother, who is autistic, to join sailing class to boost his confidence, and I too accompanied them, just to cheer him up. Seeing my interest in the sport, my father enrolled me in the class. As a kid, I was always interested in water-based sports as I felt they were exciting and fun. Taking up the sport was a challenge as one requires to understand nature. When I started beating my seniors very early on during my training classes, my coach and parents realized that I was naturally talented in the sport.”

When asked how he balances academics and sports, Neel said, “Being a stickler for time management is the secret of my success. I always use my time well. Other than this, my friends and teachers have been very supportive when it came to academics.”

“Sailing is purely based on science. Even planes were discovered based on this sport. Understanding physics – aerodynamics and pressure system – is important. Also, fitness is a key factor for any sport. I go through rigorous training for being fit, both physically and mentally. Consistency in practice also contributes to one’s victory. My parents are my backbone.¬†Although my father had no knowledge of this sport, he used to surf online and teach me various techniques.”

Neel Anand’s father Ramakrishnan said, “Although my elder son has autism, I have never seen it as a defect, and I treat both my sons equally. I make sure I always boost them with confidence. Neel Anand has good grasping power, and I make him understand the properties of water and wind practically. It came as a surprise when he scored more than 60 per cent marks in his board exam with just 25 per cent attendance. His sponsors have helped him a lot.”


P T Usha