Once A Domestic Worker, Vasanthi Will Now Represent India At The Steeplechase Event In Spain
- IWB Post
- June 12, 2018
M Vasanthi, until the end of the year 2016, worked as a domestic worker in two houses and as a cook in a small restaurant in Coimbatore. The 36-year-old never imagined that her life would change in her late 30s.
Vasanthi is now prepping to represent India at the World Masters Athletic Championship to be held at Malaga in Spain this September. Things changed for Vasanthi in the year 2017, when she saw a WhatsApp message about a 10k run in Pollachi, which is open to participation from people aged above 35.
“My husband showed me the message and asked me if I was interested in running. Since getting placed in such events get us money, I said I was interested. So, we went to Coach Vairavan, who was training our children,” Vasanthi told The News Minute.
Her 16 years old son and 14 years old daughter were already training under Coach Vairavanathan from the Genesis Sports Foundation in Coimbatore.
“When she expressed interest in training to run marathons, we were happy to train her. Her son already trains with us and we took her to Coonoor for our annual summer running camp. There she took care of cooking for the kids and also trained herself to run,” says Vairavanathan, her coach from Genesis Sports Foundation, Coimbatore.
“I trained for 15 days with him and then participated in the summer camp in Coonoor. I participated in the race in Pollachi and got the third prize in the 10k category,” says Vasanthi.
Since then, she never looked back and bagged medals that paved her into the national competitions. She participated in various events at the district and state levels.
At the state meet in Karur, Vasanthi walked away with gold in three events – 800m, 1500m and 5000m. Her medals opened the doors to the National Meet in Bengaluru in February.
“The meet was organised by the Masters Athletic Federation of India. I won second place in three events (800m, 1500m and 5000m) and the first place in 2000m steeplechase event. This gold earned me a spot in the World Championships in Spain,” she shares.
For the event in Spain, Vasanthi is training day and night to give her best. Her day begins at the Jawarhalal Nehru stadium in Coimbatore at 5.30am and goes on till 7.30am. She returns to the track in the evening for another two hours, where her training sessions have helped her to improve her core strength.
“On days when I feel exhausted, I go to the stadium and do the warmups alone. The coach has asked me to do at least the warmups every day. He has also asked me to train in shorts and not to wear track pants. But I have been using shorts only in the past month. I felt shy initially, but then I have gotten used to it now,” she says.
However, Vasanthi is still short of funds for her trip to Spain. She needs Rs 3 lakh for her trip to Spain but has managed to get only Rs.30,000 till now. Her coach, Vairavanathan, endorses Vasanthi and says that she is hardworking and dedicated to her training.
“We are actively looking for sponsors to fund her trip. I feel she is a deserving candidate and her hard work has made her reach this point. It would be of great help if people come forward and help this family with whatever they can. Even a small amount can mean a lot to them,” he adds.
H/T: The News Minute