Young gun hopes to shine in bowling green
Not out of school yet, Tania Choudhury is old enough to carry the hopes of a nation. The 15-year-old has carved a niche for herself in Lawn Bowls, a sport that only few know in India. Shubhodeep Chakravarty reports. Know TaniaUpdated: Sep 06, 2010 03:48 IST
Not out of school yet, Tania Choudhury is old enough to carry the hopes of a nation. The 15-year-old has carved a niche for herself in Lawn Bowls, a sport that only few know in India.
What is remarkable is that she has been selected to represent India at the CWG in a game she picked just three years ago.
The Guwahati-girl has been training hard to excel in the face of stiff competition at the Games.
"We have an eight-hour practice schedule that involves skill and gameplay training. We make use of cones to perfect our throwing skills," she says.
Tania makes use of yoga and meditation to calm her nerves. She says it helps her concentrate on the field.
"A sport like lawn bowls also requires us to develop our mental skills."
Apart from a calm mind, lawn bowls require a strong and fit body. Standing on your feet for close to eight hours in this sport can take a physical toll as well.
"Though we have stopped gym workouts now as we are close to the Games, we did a lot of treadmill and cardio exercises for our legs earlier. We also did some weight-training initially," says the Asia-Pacific bronze medallist who is also preparing for her board exams next year.
"Balancing studies with sports can get tough at times. I am a good student but my friends have been helpful, especially now since I have been away from home for close to three months."
And it is not just friends who play a role in Tania's success. Her father, Anup Choudhury, who plays the same sport guides her from time to time.
"He and my mother have supported me throughout. My father does give me some tips from time to time but he prefers letting team coach (Richard Gale) do his own thing," she says.
Australian Gale, who has played A-grade soccer and cricket, feels that the entire ladies team, including Tania, has the temperament required to bag medals.
"Tania's achievements speak for themselves. We have been training hard for the last 16 months and are in a position to provide formidable challenge to seasoned teams like Australia and New Zealand who have been playing this sport for years," he says.
Tania adds: "The favourites tag is irrelevant. Real achievement lies only in beating that team and packing in the ultimate medal."