Following the success of roller-skaters Rayudu Arun Kumar and Avani Bharat Kumar Panchal from Vizag, local talent Greeshma Dontara is poised to leave her mark, aiming for victory at the Asian Games and Asian Roller-Skating Championship. Greeshma, a fourteen-year-old, is going to represent India in the Asian Games in the Artistic Roller-Skating category. Recently, Team Yo! Vizag interacted with the young sports star and relived her impressive journey from a beginner to a pro.
Interacting with Yo!, she stated that she has been skating since she was four years old. Having earned an impressive tally of 99 medals across district, zonal, state, and national championships during her 10-year athletic career, Greeshma Dontara from Vizag is now poised to secure a medal for her country at the upcoming Asian Games and Asian Roller-Skating Championship scheduled to take place in China.”It’s a rare opportunity to represent India at such a prestigious championship. But more than happiness, I feel responsible to deliver my best performance and win a medal for the country,” says Greeshma.
In an interview with Yo! Vizag, Sharmila, Greeshma’s mother, discussed how when most people think of skating, they typically envision speed skating, highlighting that opting for artistic skating is quite uncommon. She also mentioned that Vizag offers facilities for speed skating at VUDA Park, but Greeshma has been undergoing training for artistic skating at Sivaji Park in MVP Colony, where both of her coaches – P. Satyanarayana (Team India coach) & K. Chitti Babu instruct her.
She also expressed her worry regarding how children practice in the open space of Sivaji Park without shelter or a proper roof. This makes the skaters prone to dehydration due to the heat, and since it’s an open area, they miss their practice sessions on rainy days, which becomes a significant issue when preparing for competitions.
When inquired about the facilities required in the field of skating in Vizag, she suggested that instead of individual skaters seeking coaching, which can cost 4-5 lakhs per person, it would be more beneficial if coaches received advanced training and returned to teach these skills to children. “This initiative would have a wider positive impact, benefiting a larger number of participants as opposed to just one,” Sharmila opined.
Greeshma is currently in a pivotal phase of her schooling, gearing up for her 10th board exams. When inquired about how she manages her studies alongside her championship training, her mother explained that they receive substantial support from her school, Visakha Valley. Additionally, Greeshma’s friends assist her by sharing notes and important class information. Greeshma herself is a diligent student who completes her daily coursework, allowing her to balance her academic and sports commitments effectively. She practices in the morning and evening, ensuring harmony between her academic and athletic pursuits.
Earlier this year in the Pacific Cup held in Australia, Greeshma achieved a ranking of 6th out of 12 participants from various countries. It was her first international event. “This is an open championship, and my objective for participating in this event has been achieved. I had the opportunity to compete against 12 participants from various countries, allowing me to observe how my opponents are preparing for international events. It provided valuable insights into planning my programs to align perfectly with international judging standards. Winning medals without facing competition doesn’t contribute to my improvement. Although I didn’t secure a medal, I consider myself fortunate to have had the maximum number of competitors in my category, which will be beneficial for my performance in future events,” emphasised Greeshma.
When asked about how Greeshma handles setbacks, her mother noted that she doesn’t become disheartened. “Instead, it fuels her determination to strive harder for a medal in the future. This resilience is considered a commendable trait in an athlete. Her sole motto is continuous self-improvement with each passing day,” Sharmila added.
Currently, Greeshma is undergoing training for her upcoming championship, where she will be performing two routines that incorporate jumps and stretches. These routines are currently in the choreography phase, with one lasting approximately 2 minutes and 45 seconds, and the other extending from 4 to 5 minutes. Her training sessions are scheduled in the afternoon and evening, following her school hours.
Yo! Vizag extends its best wishes to Greeshma for the Asian Games, Asian Roller-Skating Championship, and all her future endeavours.
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