National school cycling: Maharashtra’s village cyclist pedalling his way to national glory
From cycling every day to school on his friend’s bike to pedalling his way to a silver medal at the 64th National school games road cycling championship, it has certainly been a remarkable journey for 17-year-old Hanuman Chopade.pune Updated: Feb 12, 2019 17:10 IST
Hailing from Gevrai taluka in Beed, Maharashtra, 17-year-old Hanuman Chopade has come a long way. From cycling every day to school on his friend’s bike to pedalling his way to a silver medal at the 64th National school games road cycling championship, it has certainly been a remarkable journey for him.
Currently staying in the city at the Krida Prabodhini hostel in Balewadi, Chopade has adapted perfectly to his new surroundings and despite it being only a year since he moved away from his family, he does not feel a sense of loneliness as he is living with a number of like-minded people, who share the same passion for cycling as he does.
Elated after his silver medal performance in the 24 km boys under-17 mass start over the weekend, Chopade says, “My parents are small-time farmers at a farm owned by someone else and used to work in factories during the off season. I used to enjoy running around so I took part in athletics and became pretty good at it and took part at the state level, but I also cycled at the state level at the same time. I was then told to give my cycling trials and that’s how my romance with the sport began,” says the silver medallist.
Coming from humble beginnings, it was impossible for Chopade to buy a bike of his own to compete at such big events, but is grateful that the coaches at Krida Prabodhini took him under their wing and gave him the equipment he needed to hone is skills and win medals for the state.
“All what I’ve used for this tournament has been given to me by Prabodhini. This, my first national tournament, and I won the silver. It’s all down to the time my coaches have spent on me.”
First Published: Feb 12, 2019 17:10 IST