Pune Athletics Club grabs pole position in all, but one, event categories at district athletics championship
Pune Athletics Club (PAC) took the Pune District Junior Athletics Championship by storm, as athletes from the academy finished first in every event category, barring one, the U-14s.
At the Balewadi Sports Complex on Sunday, PAC also managed to beat the fancied Army Sports Institute, Pune, to being the most prolific team at the championship.
Abhishek Ubhe, a PAC athlete, grabbed gold in the 110m hurdles.
“The track conditions made things difficult. I had to make tiny adjustments to my schedule to cope and adjust. I had to extend my warm-up session from 45-minutes to 60-minutes in order to get muscles warmed up and ready for the race,” says Ubhe.
Arvind Chavan is the PAC head coach and founder guiding, encouraging and keeping his athletes focused at the event.
Chavan, who founded the club in 2009 says he is happy with the performance of his athletes, but is aiming for a “higher level”.
“Participating in a district tournament is only to motivate the youngsters,” says Chavan, his eyes firmly on the state and national meets.
PAC has produced athletes who are now on the international stage. Hurdler Ubhe is one of them, as he has participated in the Asian Youth Athletics Championships 2017 and IAAF World Youth Athletics Championships 2017. Manisha Salunkhe is the other who represented India in the Asian Cross Country Championships 2016 in Bahrain.
“We have a very strict training schedule, even if there are no upcoming tournaments. He [Arvind Chavan] is an all-rounder and helps us all practice everything from Steeplechase to throwing, jumping and all the track events.”
Riddhi Patil, u-20 sprinter, Pune Athletics Club
“I’ve been at PAC for eight years now, during which I participated in international tournaments as well. This is the district level but I still feel happy for the young athletes who are representing our club and won in this tournament.”
Abhishek Ubhe, u-20 hurdler, Pune Athletics Club
“My athletes had to adjust to the conditions, but no one complained. These events don’t stop unless there’s a thunderstorm, so all players have to adapt and perform. They couldn’t give it their all because of the conditions, but that is understandable.”
Arvind Chavan, coach, Pune Athletics Club
Army Sports Institute
The ASI – Army Sports Institute, Pune, finished second in the under-16 and under-18 categories, in terms of gold medals on.
The Army athletes, however, who live and train at their institute itself, says that “this event was a warm-up”.
“ASI athletes are completely focused on the state and national tournaments. Participation here is just for practice,” said an ASI athlete, requesting anonymity. “However, it is good seeing PAC win because the club is nurturing athletes who have the potential to be great in the future,” the athlete added.
On comparing the schedule followed by both, ASI and PAC, it is evident that training at PAC is as hectic and serious as the training at ASI, with both academies following similar time-tables, workout sessions and diets.