She fell in love with skating, and now sprints to success

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Bangalore, October 25:  In eighth standard student, Varsha P. is eager to show us her skating skills. A student of the Presidency School in Nandini Layout, she takes us to a rink where she practices every day. As she takes off from the starting block of the rink, a kid crosses her path and accidentally falls. Varsha stops, lifts the kid and ensures that he is all right, showing us her compassionate side.

Falling is part of the game, she explains. “I just don’t want others to get hurt,” she says, explaining why she always makes an effort to stop and help the younger lot. “Over the years, while practising, I have fallen many times. I have gotten up always and continued with the practice,” she says. Till date, the budding champ has won four gold medals in roller-skating competitions.

Varsha chose to join roller-skating classes when she was in V Standard to “stay healthy”. Skating caught her eye when she used to go for morning walks with her father and saw children at a skating rink. “They always seemed happy and it seemed like a lot of fun. I told my parents I also would like to join these classes and they agreed,” she says. But, though she had wanted to join the classes, the first week wasn’t as exciting. “On the first day, I was really scared to skate. I held my trainer’s hand throughout the session. Her encouraging words did not help. This went on for a week. As the days passed, I slowly gained the confidence. I must really thank my trainer because she has taken a lot of interest to train me and she is like huge pillar of strength,” Varsha says.

Once she picked up the basics, she started improving her speed. And, that year, she participated in an open roller-skating championship which attracted children from across Karnataka and also from other States. Varsha won gold medals in 100 and 200 metres speed races. This accomplishment was repeated in the following year too.

Trainer confident

“I was not confident of winning at the competition,” she says. But, her trainer was. “I knew Varsha would excel at the competition. She had practised well and I too had provided many tips,” says Sudha Babu, the trainer. Roller-skating is yet to become popular in India and only a few competitive events are conducted for children, she says.

Varsha says that regular practice is a must to excel in roller-skating. “If you miss your practice even by a day, your speed will go down,” she says. Sharing her own example, Varsha says that she practised for almost eight to 10 hours a day two weeks before the start of the competitions.

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