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Overcoming cyclones to compete


Overcoming cyclones to compete

After more than eight months of hard practice, the weightlifters of the Khel Vikas programme perform with confidence in district competitions in eastern Odisha, India.

The training

The Khel Vikas programme has been providing the Kankia School Sports Academy weightlifters with resources since January 2013.  Back then, the athletes practiced with second hand equipment and a plywood plank as a platform. They had no training structure nor proper guidance. Since then, though, three new platforms, bars, weights, shoes, and other equipment have been provided so that the athletes can have a realistic chance in competitions.

Their diet has been made more nutritious and they are being given protein supplements as their training has become harder with every step.  As the year progressed, the athletes have been surpassing their personal bests regularly. The training in the off season has been tough because of limited resources and the extremely hot and humid climate of Odisha.

Competitions and cyclones

The weightlifting season in India starts in October beginning with the block and district level competitions, which are then followed by the state championship, finishing with the national level competitions in January.  Just a week before the competitions a destructive cyclone passed over Odisha, specifically in the Ganjam region where the school is located.

The weightlifting hall was flooded and some of the equipment damaged. This did not dishearten our enthusiastic weightlifters and coaches, as they removed the water in the hall every day before practice. In spite of no drinking water or electricity, they trained in the damp and dark hall so that they could be fit and ready for the competition.

Looking ahead

Despite these troubled preparations several athletes secured podium finishes and so have reserved a place in the state competitions. This strong display gave the weightlifters a major boost in self-confidence, which will serve them well for the competitive season.

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Rohan Kandoi


Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 23:00