A quality sports kit is a big motivation for a budding player from a humble background. Whenever last year’s pending kit arrives at SAI Alappuzha’s water sports centre for distribution among the 2014 session trainees, Aparna Ramabhadran will be one of the names on the list. It’s just that the rowing champion won’t be there to collect it.
A tragic chain of events forced the winner of numerous junior national medals to commit suicide.
“She was a hardworking player and we had won a number of medals at the Nationals and were hoping to win many more in the coming years. Life had something different to offer,” said Aparna’s rowing partner Nimmy Tressa Joseph from Alappuzha. As Nimmy could communicate only in Malayalam, another SAI trainee interpreted for her during the communication with HT over phone.
Remembering her partner, with whom she dreamt of becoming a world-class rower, Nimmy said, “We won our first junior national medal (bronze) during the 2013 Nationals in Roorkee in 1000m pairs event and we were also part of the silver-medal winning team in coxless four event. Last year’s gold in the pairs event at the Challenger Nationals in Bengal was memorable and gave us confidence that we could also enter the big league. But she left me in midway.”
Nimmy’s mother came to the SAI centre on Saturday to take her daughter home for a couple of days, to help get over the trauma of Aparna’s death.
“Nimmy’s mother is here to take her home as she is upset over Aparna’s death. Being a teammate she was quite attached to Aparna,” said senior rower Dittymol Verghese, with whom Aparna had shared a room for the last couple of days.
“I don’t know what was going on in Aparna’s mind when she took the extreme step. For us, it’s unbelievable. She was like any other girl and interacted with everybody and was always present during training. She wanted to be a top rower,” said Verghese.