Chennai teen comes out on top in Pole Vault Nationals

T Sathya, a class twelve student of the Lady Sivaswami Ayyar Girls High School, Chennai made the Tamilandu proud by clinching gold at the SGFI National Sports Meet held earlier this month at Sangrur, Punjab. The victory was also a special one as apart from winning the gold, she created a new national record in the Under-19 category by scaling 3.61 metres.

Sathya spoke to News Today about her love for the sport and her dreams. Speaking about the tournament and her record-breaking feat, she said, ‘”I participated in the tournament for the second time in my career, since I had made my debut two years ago in the same competition in the Under-17 category. Since it was held in Punjab during the month of December the climate was naturally very cold. I struggled to acclimatise to such conditions however I managed to do well and the national record that I achieved was a result of my hardwork. However, had the conditions been favourable I would have performed even better than this.’”

She said she decided to take up the sport after getting the inspiration from her father, A Tamilarasan, who was a national medallist in pole vault. “‘Initially, I was interested in long jump and took part in many tournaments but since my father was a pole vault player I took inspiration from him and decided to take up pole vault as my sport and started my training when I was in ninth standard.’”

A strong desire to do well in the sport prompted Sathya, who is a native of Trichy, to shift base to Chennai for her training. ‘”My family lives in Trichy and I am staying here in Chennai with my brother just for the sport. Ever since I came here, I am getting trained at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium under the tutelage of coach Milber for the last four years.’
‘I practice every day for six hours from 6 am to 10 am and from 6 pm to 8 pm. My school has also been a big support as they have given me permission to come to school every morning after my training gets over,”’ she adds.

Currently studying 12th, Sathya says that with the support from her school, it has been easy for her to tackle both studies and sport. ‘”Our school has many sportspersons like me and we will always be away participating in tournaments. Because of that we hardly have time to attend classes and study but when the exams approach, we will be given special coaching by the teachers and that is really helping us manage both sports and studies.’  About her victory she says, ‘I am very happy with the victory I want to thank my coach, parents and the school for their valuable support. This wouldn’’t have been possible without them. Staying away from family has been a difficult part of my journey so far.’”

When asked about her dream, she says, “‘My dream is to set a national record in the open category and my immediate aim is to do well in the upcoming Khelo India games which is to be held at Guwahati in January. I want to take up the sport full-time once I complete schooling,’” she concludes.

Aaditya Anand M