With 6 Consecutive International Medals This Girl Surfer Has Single-handedly Placed India In Surfing League

For a long time, India's sport section had been limited to one sport and one sport only, Cricket. Even our national sport hockey took a backseat. But with more and more global exposure, importance of sports including new sports have dawned upon the population. There are regular news pertaining to Kabaddi, Hockey, and Olympic sports. With burst of private organizations taking some definite interest in the still developing Indian sporting industry through sports sponsorship programs, has made the Government of India take better care of its own end in the sports industry, leading to a definite growth in the industry as a whole.

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With new sports flooding the sporting arena, it has got difficult for the government to pay equal attention to all. In the process some sports are getting neglected. One of them is stand up paddling. Yet in spite of all odds one person has still managed to make a name in this less-known-sport, stand-up paddling.

Meet, Tanvi Jagadish, an 18 year old surfer and stand-up paddling (SUP) champion from Mangaluru, Karnataka. She single handedly placed India in SUP map, by being the youngest and the only female surfer from India to participate in the 2016 Fiji ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship where contestants from 40 countries took part. She even represented India twice in 2017 and won third place in both the instances at the SUP surf pro events, under-17 category.

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But she never had it very easy. Because of her gender and her choice to pursue a niche sport, she was forced to overcome a lot of hurdles. Tanvi was just eight when she was introduced to water sports. She realized how good she was at this sport. Soon this hobby became her career goal. But sadly, from where this girl comes from, the idea of girls wearing shorts and venturing into the water is pretty much unimaginable.

Battling her parents and the community, who frowned on girls participating in sea sports which was considered more of a man sport, she found her support in her grandfather. While talking to YourStory she said, "I asked my grandpa about this and he told me, 'Tanvi, if you feel what you are doing is right, from your heart, then just go ahead and do it, be the best, and work hard. Don't listen to anything because when you have great determination, nothing will come in your way, no matter what! Passion, determination, and the attitude of never fearing failure will always make you reach your goals."

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She even shifted her residence from NITK to grandmother's house in Mulki, which was 10 minutes from the Mantra Surf Club. This is where she found her mentor in April Zilg-a North Carolina native and avid surfer who was spending a year in India- she made her realize that stand-up paddling is what she was meant to do. After that there was no looking back for her.

According to a report in the Times of India, after a consecutive 6 international medal wins, this 18-year-old has a lot to look forward to this year, where she will be seen participating in two international prestigious surfing events. Tanvi will be the sole Indian participant at the first event-the famous Singapore Ocean Cup which is scheduled to be held on November 17th and 18th. Paris SUP Crossing, the second event, will be held in the second week of December, where she hopes to be accompanied by another participant.

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As mentioned before there is a lack of funding when this sport is concerned. Because of this the young girl has already missed out on participating in the World Cup, to be held in China next month. But she is not the one to get bogged down by disappointments. She is already working hard on upcoming events by spending 4-5 hours in the water practicing and also does Yoga to keep her mind and body in good shape. She is currently training under Hayden Rhodes, who has been helping people athletes across the world to improve their performance in the disciplines of surfing and snowboarding.

Now that Tanvi has had a taste of international competition, she wants to bring about a change in the society. She hopes that her example will show other girls paddling and surfing is a sport that can be taken by both the sexes. "In India many people are still scared of the ocean and if they do let their kids go out, it's only the boys," she said. "I want to show that girls do belong in SUP and that when we're given the chance, we can make our families and our country proud." From Kenfolios team, "You go girl !"

Picture Source: India Today; SUP Magazine; mangalorean.com; The Better India

  

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