Tamil Nadu

To Turkey with a soaring dream

Raring to go:N. Hemamalini of Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Odugathur is all set to take part in the international event.- Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy

Raring to go:N. Hemamalini of Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Odugathur is all set to take part in the international event.- Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy  


Javelin thrower Hemamalini aims to make it big at the World School Athletic Championship

In a month’s time, N. Hemamalini, daughter of a farmer in Vellore, will be attempting for her best shot at javelin throw at the World School Athletic Championship in Turkey.

The Class XII student of Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Odugathur, is excited about her first international outing after bagging 13 medals at the State and national level championships in javelin throw in the last three years.

Her dream

A resident of Madayapattu, a village located nearly three km from Odugathur, Hemamalini’s family earns a livelihood from agriculture. Her father, Neelakandan, who is a farmer, is supporting her dream to scale great heights in javelin throw.

Despite being in class XII, the 17-year-old girl said she was getting adequate practice for the forthcoming championship to be held from July 11 to 18 in Turkey.

Practice sessions

“I am praticising for two hours in the morning from 5.30 and one-and-a-half hours in the evening. My father accompanies me to the school ground two km away from home for practice is the morning. I study at night,” she said.

Her best throw so far is 40.98 metres in a State-level championship. But she is aiming for more in the Turkey championship. “I am aiming at hitting 45 metres. Right now, I throw a distance of 43 metres during practice sessions,” she added.

V. Krishnamoorthy, her coach and school physical education teacher is proud of her journey so far.

Three records

“She has three records to her credit in the under-16 category at the State, south India and national levels. She has been training in javelin throw since class IX,” he said.

This year has been good for Hemamalini as she bagged the gold at a State-level junior athletic championship held in Coimbatore during January, and went on to win silver at the national-level championship at Calicut in February, he pointed out.

On May 29, the School Games Federation of India held selections for the World School Athletic Championship and she stood first, he said.

Looking for sponsors

But the journey has not been easy for the girl. “Hailing from an agricultural family, she has been in need of sponsorship including for shoes and equipment.

We were able to get equipment through sponsorship earlier. Now this equipment is in a broken condition,” Mr. Krishnamoorthy added.

He felt that access to gym facilities would boost training for Hemamalini and many budding sports persons in the school.

“She could also be provided an opportunity to take part in a coaching camp of Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu,” he said.

Right now, the student is looking out for sponsorship for paying the kit allowance of Rs. 1 lakh, he mentioned.

For Hemamalini, the dream does not stop here. “I want to win gold medal in this championship. I want to work hard to participate in the Asian-level championships and go on to take part in Olympics,” she said.

Though she would pursue higher studies, she has set her eyes on making it big in sports which she calls her interest, she noted.

Her best throw is 40.98 metres in a State-level event. She is aiming at 45 metres now

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 9:58:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/To-Turkey-with-a-soaring-dream/article14425534.ece

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