Anju Bobby George : An Inspiration

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. 

Anjali Bhagwat : The Girl Who Never Misses

Blog by : Anuradha Guha

Anjali Bhagwat, or Anjali Ramakantha Vedpathak is an Indian shooter, popularly heralded as ‘The Girl Who Never Misses’. She earned the epithet of World Number One in 10m Air Rifle in 2002.

Anjali was born in a simple Marathi family in Mumbai. From a very young age, she was deeply inspired by the famous athlete, Carl Lewis. She came across shooting as a cadet in the National Cadet Corps (NCC). After finishing her schooling, she enrolled in the Kirti College in Mumbai simple because of it’s short distance to NCC. As a part of her activities she got into the Maharashtra Rifle Association (MRA) and started shooting at the age of 21.

Her first coach was Sanjiv Chakravarti and she gives him the credit for her strong beliefs and determination, instilled over a period of 5 years. She first participated in the National Championships in 1988 and won a silver medal for her state. Her first participation in an international event was in 1995 in the SAF games. She is the only woman to have won a World Cup for India.
In 1999 she started training under the Hungarian coach, Laszlo Szucsak. Both of her coaches contributed a lot in shaping her as a sportswoman but they were also in awe of Anjali’s seamless execution of their instructions in the field.
In 2000, Anjali became the 2nd Indian woman to reach the final Olympics, the first being P.T.Usha. She also received the silver medal at the World Cup finals held in Munich. In 2002, she was ranked the number one player in the world. Throughout the duration of 1998-2001 , Anjali won four gold medals in the Commonwealth Games.

Anjali Bhagwat was the face of women’s shooting in India. As a woman, it wasn’t easy for her achieve her dreams, but she persisted in her life with will and determination, striving to make her dreams come true. In our country, women are seldom encourage to play sports, leave alone take it up as a career option. But she did so, and went on to become of the most successful players of India, making her country proud.
Anjali was a believer in hard work. She herself said that while shooting, she forgot everything else in the world. She was quoted saying- “At the international level, every shooter has their own coach, psychologist and manager, who takes care of every player’s needs. This helps the player move forward. Since we do not get any such facility, our success is more delightful.”
She also was a firm believer in having control over your mind, even in the most stressful of situations. She said- “Only those who handle the pressure well , will make their talent count.”
Anjali received the ‘Arjuna Award’ in a 2000 and the ‘Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award’ in 2003 for her performance in the Commonwealth Games in 2002.
Anjali worked hard for her success and is an inspiration to all the women of India that if they have the talent, and the courage to pursue it, they too can get their dreams.

Neeraj Chopra : The Champion

Blog By Khushboo Kothari 

Neeraj Chopra (born 24 December 1997) is an Indian track and field athlete competing in the javelin throw. He won a gold medal in 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland. He also set a world junior record.

He had won the gold medal at the 2016 South Asian Games with a throw of 82.23 m, which equalled the Indian national record. Despite these performances, he failed to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics as the cut off date was 11 July. He is from the Khandra Village, Panipat, Haryana in India. He is currently coached by Garry Calvert. Neeraj won gold medal in Asian Athletic championships 2017 with a throw of 85.23 meters.

Neeraj Chopra registered a season best effort of 86.47 meters in men’s javelin throw at 2018 Commonwealth Games (CWG). With that, Chopra not only joined an elite list of Indian athletes to win a gold medal on their Commonwealth Games debut, but also became the first Indian to triumph in Javelin Throw at CWG.download (1)

 

Vinesh Phogat : The Wrestler

Blog By Khushboo Kothari

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Vinesh Phogat (born 25 August 1994) is an Indian wrestler who comes from a successful background of wrestling with her cousins Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari, both international wrestlers and Commonwealth Games medalists as well.

Vinesh is the daughter of wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat’s younger brother Rajpal and the cousin of wrestlers Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari. Both her cousins have won gold in 55kg category in Commonwealth Games.

In allowing her cousins and herself to pursue competitive wrestling, her father and uncle had to deal with immense pressure and opposition from the community in their village in Haryana. They were adjudged as going against the morals and values of their community. Her cousin, Ritu Phogat, too is an international level wrestler and has won a gold medal at the 2016 Commonwealth Wrestling Championship.

2013 Asian wrestling champions ,in the tournament in New Delhi, India, Vinesh won the bronze medal in the women’s freestyle 51 kg category, winning 3:0 in the bronze medal bout through the repechage round to Tho-Kaew Sriprapa of Thailand.

In the first round, Vinesh won 3:1 against Nanami Irie of Japan. She then lost 1:3 in the quarter-finals to Tatyana Amanzhol of Kazakhstan who qualified for the final thus qualifying the Indian grappler for the repechage round.

2013 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships , in an exclusive tournament held in Johannesburg, South Africa, Vinesh finished second and won the silver medal in the women’s freestyle 51 kg category, losing in the final round to Odunayo Adekuoroye of Nigeria.

At the 2014 Commonwealth Games ,Vinesh represented India in the women’s freestyle 48 kg category at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and won the gold medal.In the quarter-finals, Vinesh faced Rosemary Nweke of Nigeria and beat her 5-0. Her semi-finals opponent was Jasmine Mian of Canada whom she beat 4-1. In the gold medal bout, she faced home favourite Yana Rattigan of England and won the gold medal, beating her 3-1.

At the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, Vinesh won the bronze medal in the women’s freestyle 48 kg category.

 

In the Round of 16, Vinesh faced Yongmi Pak from the People’s Republic of Korea and beat her 3:1. Her quarter-finals opponent was Dauletbike Yakhshimuratova of Uzbekistan whom she overcame easily with a 5:0 scoreline. She lost 1:3 in the semi-finals to Eri Tosaka of Japan but qualified for the bronze medal bout and beat Narangerel Eredenesukh of Mongolia to win 10-0 easily after referee stopped the bout (classification points 4:0).

At the 2015 Asian Championships in Doha, Phogat won the silver medal in her category after losing the final to Yuki Irie of Japan. In the qualifying tournament for the 2016 Rio Olympics held in Istanbul, she won in the final round beating Polish wrestler Iwona Matkowska, and qualified for the Olympics in the process.

At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Vinesh reached the Quarter Finals and lost to Sun Yanan of China owing to a knee injury.

2018 Gold Coast CommonWealth Games Vinesh Phogat won the gold medal in women’s 50kg freestyle wrestling at 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.

M.C. Mary Kom : The Real Hero Blog By :Khushboo Kothari

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Chungneijang Mary Kom Hmangte(born 24 November 1982), better known as Mary Kom,is an Indian Olympic boxer hailing from the Kom tribe in Manipur. She is a five-time World Amateur Boxing champion, and the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world  championships. Nicknamed “Magnificent Mary”, she is the only Indian woman boxer to have qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics, competing in the flyweight (51 kg) category and winning the bronze medal. She has also been ranked as No. 4 AIBA World Women’s Ranking Flyweight category.She became the first Indian woman boxer to get a Gold Medal in the Asian Games in 2014 in Incheon, South Korea. and is the first Indian Woman Boxer to win Gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

On 26 April 2016, Kom was nominated by the President of India as a member of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament.In March 2017, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India, appointed Mary Kom along with Akhil Kumar as national observers for boxing. Mary Kom won the Gold Medal In Asian Boxing Championship. She defeated Kim Hyang-mi of North Korea in the title match.

Kom was born in Kangthei village, Moirang Lamkhai in Churachandpur district of rural Manipur in eastern India. She came from a poor family. Her parents, Mangte Tonpa Kom and Mangte Akham Kom were tenant farmers who worked in jhum fields. They named her Chungneijang. Kom grew up in humble surroundings, helping her parents with farm related chores, going to school and learning athletics initially and later boxing simultaneously. Kom’s father was a keen wrestler in his younger days. She was the eldest of three children – she has a younger sister and brother.

Kom is married to the footballer Karung Onkholer (Onler). Kom first met her husband in 2000 after her luggage was stolen while travelling by train to Bangalore and thereafter to Delhi for a sports meet. In New Delhi while on her way to the National Games in Punjab she met Onkholer who was studying law at Delhi University. Onkholer was the president of the North East students body and helped Kom. Thus they became friends and thereafter started dating each other. After four years they were married in 2005. Together they have 3 sons: twins Rechungvar and Khupneivar (born in 2007),and son Prince (born in May 2013).

Her autobiography, Unbreakable, was co-authored by Dina Serto and published by Harper Collins in late 2013. In 2014, Priyanka Chopra played the main role of Mary Kom in Mary Kom, a biographical film about her life. Although the mother tongue of Mary is Kom, a Sino-Tibetan dialect, the movie is in Hindi.The movie is directed by Omung Kumar and was released on 5 September 2014.

Kom is an animal rights activist, and supporter of PETA India, starring in an ad to call for an end to the use of elephants in circuses. “Circuses are cruel places for animals where they are beaten and tortured. As a mother, I can imagine what animals go through when their children are taken away from them to forcefully perform in circuses. It’s sad,” Kom has been quoted in the media.”

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Laishram Sarita Devi: A Warrior

Blog by Raj Kishan..

There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. This is what our champion, Laisharam Sarita Devi teach us, we should have a backbone and stand our ground for what we believe in and against all unfairness.

Laisharam Sarita Devi! She is a mother, a champion boxer and guiding light to every woman. She is a warrior!

Sarita Devi, 36, is a champion Indian boxer from Manipur competing in the lightweight class. She was born in an agricultural family. Being sixth of eight siblings it wasn’t easy for her and her family. She completed her high school in Waithou Mapal high school till eighth and then went to Bal Baidya Mandir to complete her matriculation. She then attended open school for her +2 so that she could keep up with her busy boxing schedule. Being in an agricultural family, she used to help her parents collect firewood in her free time. Okay, so, now we know the secret behind her remarkable stamina.

She was highly inspired by Muhammad Ali, and he is the reason she started boxing. She turned professional in boxing in 2000. The following year she won silver in lightweight class at the Asian Championships 2001, Bangkok. Later, she won 4 gold Medals at Asian Championships; 2003 Hisar, 2005 Kaohsiung City, 2008 Guwahati, 2010 Atlanta. She has performed well at World Championships; 2005 Podolsk she won Bronze medal and then came the big one, she won gold medal at the 2006 World Championship. She won bronze medal at Asian Games Incheon, 2014 and silver at Commonwealth Games Glasgow, 2014. A long list of medals!

Sarita Devi was awarded with Arjuna Award for her achievements in 2009.

But there is a catch; the champion has another tale to tell. At the 2014 Asian Games, held in Incheon, South Korea, she was a victim of injustice. It was Sarita Devi’s semi final bout; her opponent was Jina Park (Hosting nation’s boxer). The first round can be said as somewhat neck to neck but the rest of the rounds her completely one sided. Sarita threw ferocious punches and her footwork was fantastic. Park simply could not compete and was off balance many times. Everybody cheered for Sarita. Sarita thought she won, coaching staff thought she won and fans thought she won. But all hell broke loose when the referee lifted park’s hand as the winner. It was totally unfair! The Indian Express said, “Sarita appears to be a clear winner in the bout… dominating the proceedings with such ferocity that Park barely managed to stand the assault. But much to the shock of Indian contingent and the spectators, the judges awarded the bout to Park.” This result and the whole fiasco tarnished the image of technical officials of AIBA besides raising a massive question on how things are carried out. Sarita was robbed off. Being the warrior she is, she protested against the incident and refused to take the Bronze medal and handed it to Park.

Sarita Devi was handed a one year ban by International Boxing Association (AIBA) for refusal of the medal. It was said that her refusal to accept her bronze medal on podium went against sportsmanship but no one at homes took it that way. Every Indian appreciated her actions.

She returned to boxing in 2016 and still puts her heart into her sport; she trains well, eats well, be with her family and tend to her child. She is a complete warrior. Things are falling in place for her once again. She says, “When you do something by heart you always achieve your dream. I follow this principle.”- A mantra which can be followed by us too. She never backed down from any challenge, even fought against injustice. We salute you ma’am!

Nidhi Mohan Kamal :The powerful women.

Blog by:Pooja Seth..

“Strong women lift each other”
Gone are the days when the fitness and health industry belonged to the men only.Nidhi Mohan Kamal has made a remarkable name in this fitness industry.She is the director of Nidsun Wellness, a chain of weight loss clinics with its branches in Delhi, Chandigarh and Haryana. She pursued food and Chemical Engineering degree and a specialization in Nutrition and sports nutrition.She is a very multitalented woman and also is a certified Fitness Trainer.She is also a Puma athlete and the list goes on.She has learned various art forms such as weight training, yoga, pilates and various dance styles like Ballet, belly dance, salsa and bhangraThat is not all Folks!She is also a writer, blogs on food,fitness, and nutrition in many publications like TOI, Asian age, urban melange and many online portals and tv shows.Such as home workouts for breakfast show WION News.She has been a brand ambassador of Puma Do You in India with Jaqueline, Kalki, Liza Haydon, Sakshi Malik and others.
NidSun Weight Loss has been in the Weight Loss business since the year 2005 & has
gifted new lives to thousands of people over this time. Started by Young and Energetic Sibling Duo Dr Sunny Bawa and Nidhi Mohan Kamal. The Vision of NidSun is to bring world-class health facilities to the common man at the best price aiming at their long-term health& fitness goals.Nidsun weight loss aims to provide serve & help people come out of lifestyle-related ailments related to obesity. The weight loss staff is passionate about results, ambitious and impatient for success.
She has been featured among India’s Top fittest by:
India Today
chea
PolkaCafe
IndiaTimes
Healthkart
LBB
Filtercopy
com
Vegabomb
in
WB news
murgency
Fitnut
fashion lady
Getfitso
Catch Now Delhi
Hooked Upon
PostDekh
BFY Sports Fitness

Let us take a look at her day and how maintains such a wonderful body.
1.She is a vegan and believes in clean eating.
2.She starts her day with tea and nuts which serves as a fuel to her.
3.For breakfast, she prefers poha, Besan cheela ,Misi roti or maybe a peanut Butter sandwhich with fruit.
Many people want to know which type of snacks to have, well Nidhi has a green tea, nuts and some peanuts .
4.For lunch time , it is typically larger than her breakfast.It comprises of lentils such as chickpeas, kidney bears, Moong dal ,soyabean and rice.
She also tries to add some veggies and salad.
For Pre-workout, she usually has a banana or apple with black coffee.
By the End of the day, she has 3 rotis and vegetable for dinner and for dessert she indulges in dark chocolates and fruit.
She makes it a point to train at least 5 times a week.
Contrary to other fitness people, she does not prefer supplements and instead focuses raw and fresh food.
She also has some cheat days for herself where she indulges in pizza, burger, some ice cream or dessert.

She is a inspiration for everyone and she shows that dreams do come true if hard work and determination is put in.

For more such stories and motivation,

You can visit https://www.bfysportsnfitness.com/

Santhi Soundarajan: Unremembered Saga

Blog by Raj Kishan..

The crowd was shouting her name. Everybody wanted to congratulate her. Every Indian was proud of her. Rewards were announced for her. She was showcasing her silver medal. But then everything was lost!

We are talking about Santhi Soundarajan (also spelled Shanthi). She is an Indian track and field athlete (running in middle distance races of 800m and 1500m). She won 12 international medals for India and around 50 medals for her home state Tamil Nadu. She stood as the pride of India, but then tragedy struck her; struck her real bad!

Santhi Soundaranjan was born in Kathakkurichi village in the Pudukkottai District of Tamil Nadu, on 17 April 1981.  She had a very difficult childhood. She lived in a hut with her 4 other siblings. Her father and mother used to work in a brickyard in another town, making about 300-400 Rupees a week. Her grandfather, an experienced runner, paved her way into running. When she was 13, he taught her to run on an open stretch of dirt outside the hut and bought her a pair of shoes.

She overcame malnutrition as a child to be a winner. She won many trophies in her school days. They she got a scholarship from an Arts college in Pudukkottai, the following year, Soundarajan transferred to a college in Chennai.

She took it to next level in 2003; winning 1Gold in 5000m, silver in 800m and bronze in 400m in the International Peace Sports Festival. Then the following year she won 2 silver medals in 2004 Asian Grand Prix. Then the following year she traded up; winning 2 gold medals (400mx4 relay and 800m) in Asian indoor games, Bangkok, 2005. In 2005, she also won a silver medal in 800m race in Asian Athletics Championships.

Then it was 2006. It was a turning point in the then young athlete’s life. It started out great; she won 2 gold medals and a silver medal at South Asian Games, Colombo. Stage was all set for Asian Games 2006, Doha. All eyes were on Santhi, India was dying to see a woman runner win a medal in over 22 years. Well, it did come true.  In the 800 meters, Soundarajan took the silver in 2 minutes, 3.16 seconds, beating Viktoriya Yalovtseva of Kazakhstan by 0.03 seconds. Those two minutes proved to be the longest two minutes for her life. What embarked was the greatest betrayal of her life, reality betrayed her.

Santhi was stripped of her silver pride on account of a gender test which she failed; Her DNA had chromosome-combo which made her not female enough to compete as a woman in athletic events. Reports initially suggested that her upbringing in impoverished rural India, where she reportedly only started eating proper meals in 2004, could be a factor behind the test result. She was raised a woman. It wasn’t her fault that she did not get favourable living conditions.

The series of unfortunate events rolled ahead. People, who were praising her, now shunned her. Money awarded was taken away. All hopes seemed diminished. She had to go back to live in the hut she grew in. She tried to take her own life. “I was shattered by the failed test, the Athletics Federation of India did not support me, did not fight my cause. I was hoping they would. I was depressed. I felt like I had lost everything. It still hurts. I loved the sport so much. My dream broken, I attempted suicide.” Nobody was there for her.

Some help came her way, later on. In January 2007, the then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi awarded Soundarajan a television set and cash prize of Rs. 15 lakh for her Doha Games effort, despite the fallout of Soundarajan failing a gender test. She used that money to train students for free.

She struggled and struggled a lot. She was told she could never participate in any sports events. But she never gave up trying. In 2015, Madras High Court directed the State government to consider Soundarajan’s plea for relaxation in educational qualifications and help her become a coach at the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu. In 2016, State government decided to appoint her as a permanent athletic coach under Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu. And finally after a long fought war, which stalled for over a decade, Soundarajan received her appointment order for a permanent athletic coach under SDAT on 20 December 2016.

In 2016, she was awarded with Young Inspirational Women Leader Award, for her contributions towards increasing the participation of young Tamil girls in Athletics. And in 2017, she got the Living Pheonix award conferred on her for Santhi’s remarkable contributions in the field of Athletics.

Soundarajan says, “I have short hair. I dress like a man. So I must be man. No. I am Santhi Soundarajan and I am a woman.”santhi

Some stories are hard to listen. This is one of those stories. She fell, fell into deep ends but rose again, she is indeed a living Pheonix. We must always remember her. We salute you!

‘Navreet Josan’:Best of both worlds!

Blog by-Pooja Seth…

 

Breaking all the stereotypes, paving her way to success, This woman is a multitalented woman.Her name is Navreet Josan.She is from the city of Jalandhar and works as a makeup artist with a major international cosmetics company.
You may be thinking what does a makeup artist has to do with this blog.
Let me uncover the story for you!
It may sound astonishing to you but she is also a bodybuilder in the bikini class category.This category is considered to be the least bulky of all the women’s bodybuilding category, It emphasis on muscle tone and symmetry over bulk.
It is worth applauding to see how this amazing lady balances two roles with utmost perfection.
The make up artist she is; is completely considered to be a feminine job and bodybuilding is considered to be masculine.
It is like playing 2 characters with one body.It is certainly her strength which helps her to have the best of both worlds.
Her journey into bodybuilding started when someone from her sister’s gym was preparing for a competition.She further researched it and felt inclined towards it.
Since then, sculpting her body has always given her a high.From then on. she became a gym rat.She was fascinated by how people can achieve so any type of body through weight training.Balancing both the chores is not an easy task.Take a look at her schedule and know what it takes to be ‘Navreet Josan’.
1.Her morning comprises of 1 hour of cardio followed by an hour of weight training in the evening.
2.She has 6 meals throughout the day which comprises of protein, moderate carbs like sweet potato, brown rice and oats and a lot of greens like spinach, lettuce, broccoli, zucchini and beans.
It is very difficult in a country like ours for a woman to take up bodybuilding.They have to go through a lot of criticism and mixed comments.She gets to hear things like “you are putting too much muscle!” , You work out too much!
And thankfully some positive words also cross her ears like “you inspire me”.
She describes that the struggle of competing in a male-dominated sport not only strain body capacities to the max, but work to overcome the politics and derogatory images that are associated with female competitors.
A lot of people also question her womanhood, and some even tag her as a freak.But nothing can break her love for the sport.She continues to bring glory and works hard every day.
Take an insight of all her achievements so far:
1.In 2014, she did participate in a competition abroad and did very well.
2. In 2015, At the NPC New York Grand Prix, she stood first in the Bikini Novice and Bikini open competitions.
3.In 2015, at the NPC Eastern USA championship, she stood second in the Bikini Novice competition.
To view more such stories and to increase your knowledge about health and fitness,
You can check out the link:
https://www.bfysportsnfitness.com/