Vaulting to fame

Poverty was not a hindrance for Preeti and Soumyashree, writes Manjushree G Naik
Last Updated 14 January 2011, 14:54 IST

Preeti and Soumyashree were no exception, who went on to set record in Pole Vault track and field event with available minimum facilities.

Both Preeti and Soumyashree hail from a rural background and both represented Karnataka state in the Pole Vault, track and field event in national-level sports, organised by School Game Federation of India at Chatrapathi Shivaji Stadium, Pune, to bag gold and silver medals respectively in under 17 boys and girls category.  Preeti bagged gold medal and Soumyashree was successful in winning silver for the State.

Both are studying in standard 10 in Herga Vittal Shetty Government High School in Kuchoor village of Hebri in Karkala Taluk.

Speaking to City Herald, Physical Education Teacher and the coach for duo, Nityanand Shetty informed that both the girls achieved something great that could have been impossible as they did not have access to facilities. Pole Vault is the game that is rarely taken up as a sports activity in this part of the region, he added.

Preeti accomplished the feat by covering 2.60 meters at national-level sports meet that was held from January 3 to 6. She was the solo winner from both boys and girls category to bring fame to the State.

Preeti had set a State record of 2.50 meters in Karnataka State pole vault meet which was held prior to national-level sports meet.

Soumyashree was able to target 2.30 meters at national-level sports meet to bag the silver. Her record at State Pole Vault meet was 2.25 meters.

Interestingly, Preeti and Soumyashree have pulled off success with less priced pole when compared to other athletes who competed along with their pole worth Rs 2 lakh. These two girls had reached their aim with the fiber pole which was worth Rs 25,000.

Preeti shared her excitement of setting a record with City Herald, besides her aspirations to reach greater heights. However, it is not possible with whatever facilities and equipment available now. The State government should come forward to offer us more amenities, she added.

Soumyashree said she has set her eyes to secure gold medal in the next pole vault meet and stressed the need to improve sports equipment.

The Government should realise that there is no dearth of sports talents. Back-up support to groom the talents, especially to those emerging from rural areas is the need of the hour.

(Published 14 January 2011, 14:54 IST)

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