But after playing the sport for more than 15 years it is something the 20 year old cannot live without. The final year B.Com student at St.Mary’s College set foot into gymnastics when she was just five years old and has won several sub-junior, junior and senior national level championships so far. She recently won three gold one silver and one bronze medal at different events in the All India Inter University Gymnastics Competition that was held in Chandigarh this month. Aruna trains with her coach Brij Kishore at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium. Gymnastics is one of the most extraordinary sports to watch but also very challenging. Aruna recalls, “ I first started off with Karate— I ‘m a brown belt. Looking at my flexibility and strength my father and Karate master then encouraged me to take up gymnastics. I wasn’t interested for almost two years but after I won national level competitions I took it more seriously. I wouldn’t be here without my father and his constant encouragement.”
However being a successful athlete is just not enough. “ people are more encouraging after Dipa Karmakar’s stint at the Olympics but the government must provide more support. My college has been very supportive. I attend college only during exams “ says Aruna.
With plans to win gold at the Asian Games Commonwealth Games and World Championships Aruna is currently concentrating on her final exams. “ My sister is helping me with my studies she teaches me everyday after my training. After I finish my graduation I want to take up gymnastics full time. The sport is dangerous and we need proper equipment. I train for three hours each in the morning and evening every day ” She says.
COURTESY DECCAN CHRONICLE