14-year-old Kudla Swimmer Saniya Jeslyn D’souza to Shine at Natl Level Sports ‘Khelo India 2020’

Spread the love

14-year-old Kudla Swimmer Saniya Jeslyn D’souza to Shine at Natl Level Sports ‘Khelo India 2020’

Mangaluru : The Khelo India is a National Level programme/Sports for development of sports. It has been introduced by the Central government to revive the sports culture in India at the grassroots level by building a strong framework for all sports played in the Country. It offers a glimpse into the potential of some of India’s brightest young athletes – be it a shooter, a gymnast, a weightlifter or a swimmer etc- Some of the established stars, will prove their mettle once again by dishing out world-class performances.And one among them will be proud young Mangalorean Swimmer Saniya Jeslyn D’souza, who will show her capabilities as a Pro- Swimmer at the Khelo India 2020 to be held from 17-22 January 2020 in Guwahati-Assam.

Saniya, who was trained at Jai Hind Swimming Club, Mangaluru under the Club’s head coach Ramakrishna Rao and Rajesh Bengre, got selected in the first round of the 50-metre back stroke national level competition held in New Delhi from 17-24 November 2019. Saniya is ONE of the two swimmers selected for Khelo India 2020, while the other swimmer selected is Rachana Rao from Mangaluru also.

Speaking to Team Mangalorean Saniya said, “I am so overwhelmed with my selection for Khelo India, a dream come true for me. Khel India is the right platform for all the young sports persons to get qualified for Commonwealth and Asian Games. I will try my best to work hard, and I am looking forward to represent India at the International level competitions. I am extremely thankful to my coaches at Jai Hind Swimming Club, and also to my dad and mom, who have been very supportive since I took up swimming when I was 8 years old, and who always accompanied me at the State and National competitions, bearing all the expenses”.

Also speaking to Team Mangalorean Coach Ramakrishna Rao said, “Saniya is a very active girl and practices swimming at least five hours daily. We want to prepare more for our swimmers , but unfortunately due to lack of infrastructure and separate swimming pools in Mangaluru, we are facing hardship and unable to do more. Even though there are quite a number of young swimmers in the City, they get hardly any encouragement from the government or district sports authorities. I only hope that the concerned sports authorities recognize the talents of these young swimmers and support them, so that they can represent India and bring name and fame to their Country”.

The only daughter of Sathish D’souza, a entrepreneur and Ms Stella Judeline D’souza- a Office Assistant at Father Muller Hospital, Mangaluru, residing at Kodikal-Ashoknagar, Mangaluru, Saniya is a ninth standard student at Victoria Girls High School-Lady Hill, Mangaluru. Apart from getting selected for Khelo India 2020, Saniya has bagged three gold and two silver medals at State level (SGFI) School Games Federation India Swimming Competition which was held at Basavanagudi, Bengaluru. She was also qualified to take part in the national level swimming competitions three times.

Speaking to Team Mangalorean, Saniya’s dad Sathish D’souza said, “As parents we feel proud of our daughter’s achievements in swimming, and we have been supporting and encouraging her ever since she took up swimming classes when she was eight years old. We always travel with her during her state or national competitions, and we spend nearly Rs 4-5 lakhs a year for her sporting activities. Even though it is an expensive affair, but we don’t want to disappoint her. It’s sad to note that the government does not recognize the talents of these young swimmers, and support them financially so that they can show more interest and represent the state or India, thereby bring laurels to state or country.”

Well said by Saniya’s dad, due to lack of support from the district or government, many swimmers give up this sport. Unfortunately, swimming is not nearly as lucrative of a sport as Cricket, (which gets all the attention and support from the govt), meaning that many pro or upcoming swimmers are forced to pay their own way. This means that once a swimmer no longer has the financial support, they most likely won’t be able to meet the high costs of competitive swimming. It’s very rare that swimmers are able to find the funding they need to continue training at a high level. This gives many swimmers the incentive to retire, meaning they quit the sport way before they are done improving, and shine. Hope the concerned sports authorities at the district and state level do understand the situation faced by these young swimmers, and try to help them out before its too late.

Saniya Jeslyn D’souza seen with her parents- Sathish and Stella D’souza

Recently a felicitation programme was held by Dakshina Kannada Swimming Association (DKSA) after they had conducted State Level Non- Medalist Swimming Competition on 28th and 29th December 2019 at City Corporation Swimming Pool, Mangaluru. MLA Vedavyas Kamath,Gopal B Hosur, Ex-IG, D K Dist and also President of Karnataka Swimming Association, Premananda Shetty, Corporator, Smt. Sandhya B Achar, Corporator, Pradeep D’souza Deputy Director, Dept. of Sports, Youth and Empowerment and other dignitaries had inaugurated the event in the presence of Dharmendra K, President, Prasanna Mallya, Gen Secretary (Sports) and Dr. B Ramachandra Bhat Gen Secretary (Admin) of DKSA.

Gopal B Hosur, had appreciated the Dakshina Kannada swimmers for their achievement with the limited facilities. “The young swimmers will achieve greater heights if the Govt. and associations supports them in the right direction. The present pool time in the evening is available only after 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM for the competitive swimmers” added Gopal.. He also stressed to have more pools in various localities for the benefit of swimmers, rather than travel to long distance.

MLA Vedavyas Kamath had agreed to support for the construction of 25 m pool exclusively for the competitive swimmers with the budget cost of Rs.3 crore from the smart city project. This pool will be constructed just behind the existing Corporation Swimming Pool. All the swimmers who have been selected for Nationals through SFI, SGFI, CBSE, ICSE, Kendriya Vidyalaya and Vidya Bharathi were felicitated with Cash Award and Shawl. This is the maiden attempt by DKSA to support swimmers. DKSA will continue to conduct such events in future and also felicitate swimmers with the support of sponsors and well-wishers.

All the club presidents and coaches were also felicitated during the inauguration for their contribution to the success of the developing swimmers. This will motivate them further to make more achievements in this field. Around 400 swimmers have participated through various clubs/schools in this competition from across Karnataka. DKSA proudly announced that, Dakshina Kannada teams namely Mangala Swimming Club, Jaihind Swimming Club and Puttur Aquatic Club have bagged the Winners, First Runner-up and Second Runner-up trophies, respectively. Ravindra L Shet, Proprietor of M/s S L Shet and Dr. Muralee Mohan Choontharu were the Chief Guests for the closing ceremony.

Team Mangalorean wishes Saniya D’souza all success in the Khelo India 2020 programme, and hoping to see her come back with Gold medals, if not at least Silver or Bronze, and make her hometown proud. You Go Girl!

Spread the love