The three-year-old archer is set to enter the India Book of Records
Catch them young is a clichéd adage, but nurturing a three-year-old is a real delight for the sports fraternity.
Meet Dolly Shivani Cherukuri, the sister of late Indian coach and international archer Ch. Lenin, who was killed in a road accident soon after 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games. Shivani is already a promising archer from the stable of Volga Archery Academy.
Shivani is all set to enter the India Book of Records, when she gears up to register 200 points in the five-metre and seven-metre categories on March 24. “This will be a world record attempt, as no one has realised this feat. Shivani will be shooting 72 arrows in 24 attempts, with a two-minute duration for three arrows for both categories. She has already scored more than 400 points during practice sessions,” says the tiny tot’s mentor Chandrasekhar Laguri, a coach from Jharkhand.
Shattered by his son’s death in 2010 and daughter’s untimely demise in 2004, Volga Archery Academy chairman Cherukuri Satyanarayana wanted someone from his family to carry on the legacy of archery from Vijayawada.
Satyanarayana and his wife Krishna Kumari, moved by the honour bestowed on their late son Lenin by the 49th FITA World Conference at Turin (Italy), decided to go for surrogacy. “When we came to know that the baby was on her way to impressive feats, we decided to mould her as an archer. The preparation was on while she was in the womb itself,” says Satyanarayana.
While Mr. Satyanarayana was at Legnica (Poland), he took the help of a bow-maker and brought home some 30 tiny carbide recurve bows made of optic fibre.
“When Shivani was born on April 2, 2012, she arrived amid bows and arrows. Her 35-month journey so far has been with archery. Literally, she speaks, dreams and eats archery and mingles with senior archers,” says her proud father.
The toddler’s dedication is amazing, as nothing matters to her except archery. Shivani, under the tutelage of her coach, moves around like any other senior archer. She is always in uniform while at practice, and she carries her bow-stand and uses other accessories without anyone’s help. She fixes the arrow to the string all by herself and releases it towards the target face with loads of concentration.
“We have already taught her the importance of yellow colour in the target face, which carries 10 points. She maintains a book, and all her scores are recorded for future reference,” says coach Chandrasekhar.
She uses slinger, finger tap, arm and chest guards with élan and also plucks the stuck arrows from the target face all by herself.
“Only when the arrows are not reachable she yells for help,” says Josthna, her fellow archer.
“Every two months, we want to increase the distance by two metres. In 2020, Shivani will be nine years old, and I wish her to be in the Indian team,” says Satyanarayana, who was instrumental for producing several top class Indian compound archers like Vennam Jyothi Surekha (Asian Games medallist), Chittibomma Jignas, Ritul Chatterjee (CWG medallist), Mangal Singh Champia (Olympian) from Volga Archery Academy.