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.
Sub-Collector D. Harichandana (second from right) at a photo exhibition organised by Surajya Movement in Vijayawada on Wednesday.— Photo: CH. VIJAYA BHASKAR
Surajya Movement organised a photo exhibition on the theme ‘Life in a village’ here at Sri Durgamalleswara Siddhartha Mahila Kalasala, on Wednesday. The exhibition was inaugurated by the Vijayawada Sub-Collector D. Harichandana in the presence of the principal of the college Prof. Vijayalakshmi, senior journalist Turlapati Kutumba Rao and coordinator of the movement Velamati Manohari. Photographs showcasing various aspects in village life such as education, women empowerment, drinking water and social awareness were exhibited.
Young girls learning the basics of football at IGMC stadium in Vijayawada.
They may not ‘bend it like Beckham’ but these girls play football with as much intensity as displayed by the iconic English player. These girls, all below 16 years from all over Andhra Pradesh, have taken up the sport with determination to make a career out of it.
“These girls refuse to believe that football is a men’s bastion. They, like hundreds of their counterparts all over the world, are besotted by the game which is one of the world’s popular games,” said Hari, their coach.
These girls are in Vijayawada for a training stint for the national competitions to be held at Ranchi next week. They appear weak and feeble, but they are keen on giving a spirited performance in the national event.
“No doubt their rivals especially from North and West parts of the country would be stronger and sturdier. Tackling will be difficult. But they have to learn the hard away,” says coach Johnson.
Much to the delight of their coaches, these girls are fine-tuning their stamina and endurance by meticulously performing the drills.
“These girls were made to run continuously for 20 minutes. They completed seven rounds, each round covering a distance of 400 meters, at IGMC stadium”.
Hari said that the girls would be on the move for 90 minutes during the match and it was imperative they possessed strong legs.
These girls are the product of Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh and the role of the physical education teachers is laudable.
“The role of PETs is praise-worthy for they not only instilled confidence in the players but also in their parents about the significance of the game,” says District Sports Development Officer P. Ramakrishna. Bhagyamma, Chandrika, Sridevi, Divya and others are all from the lower strata of the society with abundant hope of making a career out of the game. “With the certificates we can get seats in professional courses like medicine and engineering,” they said in unison.
Some of the girls, despite failing to utter the names of popular English clubs in the European Premier League, did utter names like Messi, Rolando and Rooney which brought to fore the interest they evinced in the game.
“Football is back on track in AP as the decade-long disputes were resolved. The bifurcation of the State has also come as a shot in the arm for more players can represent the new State in the national events,” said SAAP coach Panduranga Rao, who is now based at Nellore.
They refuse to believe that the game is a men’s bastion, says their coach Hari