Society

Aiming for the bullseye

A summer camp that nurtures sporting talent among students in Visakhapatnam

Talent, to paraphrase American novelist Wallace Stegner, is something that cannot be taught, it can only be awakened. And nobody has experienced this better than 16-year-old Sravani Regidi, an archer from Srikakulam.

Recognising her talent, D Santosh, the coach trained her for 50 days and Regidi brought home a gold medal last year from School Games Federation of India. All this was possible thanks to the summer camps hosted by Andhra Pradesh Social Welfare (APSW) Schools and Junior College in Visakhapatnam.

“I come from a family of farmers, and knew nothing about archery before. It all started here, during the nine-day summer camp that was organised during the Dussehra holidays. Before that I had never even held a bow,” says the student of Class XII who aspires to be a doctor.

Beyond the books

Every year the school hosts summer camps for students of APSW schools and junior colleges from across the State. This initiative was conceived to help children participate in extracurricular activities.

“We have been hosting this camp for the past five years. This year we have around 120 children — 36 girls and 84 boys from 13 districts. We usually take students from Class VI to Class XII. Younger children are given preference as with every passing year we try to hone their skills. In the past years, we have introduced boxing, karate and several other sports. This year we are encouraging archery and horse riding,” says K Koteswararao, principal of the school.

Fifteen-year-old Nammi Naveen’s journey as a rider began when his fascination for horses led him to take up horse riding classes for a week. He later participated in several horse races at village festivals. “I won two of the four races that I participated in and earned a reward of ₹18,000. This also got me admission into this school,” he says.Recognising the boy’s talent, the school admitted him last year and also appointed him as an instructor for the summer camp. He now trains the children in the basics of the sport.

Different routine

However, sports is not just the focus of the summer camps. Apart from archery and horse riding, this year the children are also being taught computer and English. The day begins early at 5.30 am with warm-up exercises. The children are then taught archery and horse riding after being divided into seven batches. Classes are held again in the evening from 4 pm to 6.30 pm. A film every evening ends the day for these children.

The 14-day summer camp which started on May 7 ends on May 21.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 7:05:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/aiming-for-the-bullseye/article23926910.ece

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