Blog by : Anuradha Guha
Anju Bobby George is an Indian Athlete. She specializes in Long Jump.
Anju was born on 19th April, 1977 in a Syrian Orthodox Family in Kerala. Anju’s father was a sports enthusiast and he was quick to recognize the talent in his daughter. He was the one to initiate her into the world of sports. She completed her schooling in CKM Kothrude School and graduated from Vimala College. Her talent came to special notice in the national school games when she won third place in 100m hurdles and 4*100m relay.
Anju started her career with Heptathlon, but she started focusing on her Long Jumps when she recognized her natural aptitude in that field. The turning point in Anju’s career came when she was married to her husband and coach, Robert Bobby George.
In 1995, Anju set the national record for triple jump in the Bangalore Federation Cup. In 2001, she broke her own record of long jump in The National Circuit Meet in Thiruvananthapuram.
Anju jumped to fame in 2003 when she won the bronze medal in Long Jump at the 2003 World Championships in Athletics in Paris, becoming the first Indian athlete to even win a bronze in World Championship in Athletics. Anju reached her personal best at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. In 2005, she won Gold Medal both in the 16th Asiatic Athletic Championships and the IAAF World Athletics Final.
Anju was awarded the coveted ‘Arjuna Award’ in 2002-2003. She also received the ‘Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award’ in 2003-2004 for her achievements in the World Championship in Athletics and the Padma Shri, India’s one of the highest civilian awards.
Anju Bobby, though no longer a player, in an earlier interview, expressed her sadness that a good coaching and management system is absent in India to support young emerging Long Jump players reach their full potential.
She still maintains a strict daily regime. She wakes up at 5.30 a.m. and goes to ground. Having been an athlete, this has been her routine for more than 20 years. She does a few different varities of cardio exercises. Her entire morning schedule in gym consists of about 2 hours. When she trains actively, she usually takes a health drink, but most of the times it is just plain water.
Breakfast is an important meal for her. She recommends eating all types and kinds of food-in certified proportions. But she absolutely avoids any sort of junk food or food that contains oil or grease. Diet according to her consists of a meal containing huge quantities of fruits and vegetables. As an athlete, it is important to take care of her mental health as well as her physical health. In order to keep herself mentally fit and in a healthy conditions, she goes on walks, or talk to people.
One of her deepest regrets is the lack of supportive management in India for players. She was quoted saying- “Athletics, as you all know, is the mother of all sports. We have to really work hard. There are a lot of things involved. We need real talent and real support and competitive management is where we are lacking.”
She is an inspiration to many and one of the leading athletes of India.