Telangana

Pandemic dashes powerlifter’s hope

Powerlifter Inturi Rekha lost her job as a gym trainer after the pandemic forced shut many fitness centres.   | Photo Credit: Arrangement

The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has indefinitely put on hold the dreams and aspirations of powerlifter Inturi Rekha of Sangareddy district.

The 32-year-old mother of three girls, who is struggling to find a decent job to take care of her family, had her hopes pinned on competing in the Powerlifting World Championship in Krygystan this month-end.

Had she managed to win a medal, she would have been eligible for a post in the Postal department under sports quota.

‘Strong woman’

“Now, with the sports calendar looking uncertain again, I am not sure when the championship will be held. I had won gold in the 72-kg category and adjudged ‘strong woman’ in the last Nationals in Jamshedpur,” says Rekha, who is one among six from the State to be named for the Worlds.

With help from Arakapudi Foundation and collecting money from well-wishers, the powerlifter was training hard and was intensely focussed on making a mark in the Worlds.

“Even a top-three finish there would have made me eligible for any post in the Postal department where the age limit for recruitment under sports quota is 35 years,” she says.

Raising funds

Like weightlifters, powerlifters also face the major challenge in raising funds to take care of their expensive diet, points out Rekha, who even lost her job as a gym trainer because of the pandemic which forced many fitness centres to close down.

“Life has become miserable and honestly, I never thought it would reach such a terrible point,” says the former ‘Strongwoman’ of All India Universities meet coached by Sumit Badra.

“Being an athlete from a low-profile discipline and with no godfathers to back me, I am finding it extremely difficult to tap any sponsor. Yes, I do wonder whether I sacrificed everything in my life to face this kind of a scenario,” says the powerlifter as she now stares at an uncertain future despite years of hard work.

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Printable version | May 19, 2021 8:33:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/pandemic-dashes-powerlifters-hope/article34314104.ece

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