Skating their way from one success to another are Arun and Farheen from Vizag, who bring us laurels both within the country and outside.
While one loves the occasional game of cricket and is a goal-keeper at football too (read Arun), the other is just about skating. Their future plans are different as well and while Arun wants to stay and serve the country through the Indian Army, Farheen plans to study abroad. However, when these two different individuals with independent goals and aspirations come together in the skating rink, there’s magic waiting to be made. The toughest of flips and turns they handle with ease, as they glide their way to success both on national and international frontiers.
For Arun, the desire to skate came when he was just three years old. “I was riding in a car with my father, when a group of skaters overtook us.” His father enrolled him for skating classes soon enough. Farheen’s parents however joined her in skating when she was four, and she surprisingly picked it up in a matter of few days. While the duo first trained individually in Vizag under Akula Pavan Kumar, they were soon paired up based on their performance.
Bringing home laurels
“We came together for our first national competition in 2007”, shares Farheen. While they lost the first competition, their first win came in 2008. Having retained the No.1 position nationally for six years now, the artistic skaters also went on to participate in the national ice skating competition. In the international circuit, they bagged fourth place at their first international at the 2014 Asian games in China, won the silver at the 2016 Asian games and ranked fifth at the World championship 2015 held in Colombia.
Balancing study and Practice
A lot goes into striking the balance, not just on rink, but off it as well. From learning on cement rinks in the city, to balancing on wooden rinks in other countries, many parameters are part of the process. With Arun currently studying second year of B.Tech in Vignan Institute in Vizag and Farheen having completed her twelfth grade recently, they share that support from friends and schools allows them to balance sports and academics. As many a day stretches from 5AM upto 11PM, a lot goes into making all the tough moves seem easy. For international competitions and ice skating, they head a week in advance. And then there’s the tougher competition at the world championships, that demands excellence in every aspect.
Arun’s role model is Milkha Singh, and when he was in Chandigarh, Arun coordinated with his manager and Milkha Singh invited him over for lunch to his house. “I spent two hours with him. Though in his 90s, he is very healthy and still plays golf. There was a wall of portraits in his house and he explained the story behind every picture”, says an excited Arun.
With tournaments being expensive, lack of government support and sponsorships makes things tougher. They hope for a better support system and try to stay on top in every competition. The duo is now preparing to participate at the Asian games which will be held at South Korea in September and the World championship at France in October.
We came together for our first national competition in 2007 -Farheen