At 42, she is gearing up for the run of her life

At 42, she is gearing up for the run of her life

International athletic meet beckons Nalini to China

Nalini Jogi, 42, has put Dakshina Kannada district on the global map as she has been selected to participate in an international masters’ athletic championship to be held in China between September and October.

Her run up however, seems full of hurdles as she is in need of funds to even begin processing her passport formalities and also to fulfill her dream run. An Asha worker by profession, athletics was her passion since her school days. She however, could not pursue it further but opportunity came knocking three years ago when one of her friends asked her to participate in a district-level masters’ athletic championship. Since then there has been no looking back.

“I had not participated in any athletic meet for 22 years before taking part in the meet three years ago where I won first place in the 200 metre, 400 metre and 100 metre race,” Nalini told DH.

At the National Masters Athletics Championship held in Telangana in February 2017, she won sixth place in the 400 metre race and fifth place in the 200 metre race in the 40-plus category. In the state-level sports meet held in Mangaluru, she won first place in the 400 metre and 200 metre race and was selected for the national meet.

Her upbeat mood for being selected for the international event gets a tad dampened when she thinks about mobilising funds for the event. “I have been promised help by a few and am optimistic of getting financial aid from donors. I do not have a passport and need to get it processed as I want to represent my country, win a medal and laurels for the nation,” she said.

Her husband is a daily wage labourer. The couple reside in Benjanapadvu, Bantwal, with their three children. She said, “Initially she would run barefoot which would be tedious as it was difficult to run without footwear on a synthetic track especially during hot summer months. After I won medals at the state-level, a philanthropist donated sports shoes. I however, need to get accustomed to practice with sports shoes. To practice, I have to go to Mangala stadium in Mangaluru by spending a sum of Rs 70 per day which is difficult for me. Hence, I practice near my house whenever I get time.”

She said, “When I was in the ninth standard, I was selected for a district-level athletic meet. However, owing to poverty I could not participate. I now have an opportunity to take part in an international event and if I get adequate monetary support, I will surely participate and excel.” 

“Without the support of my family, I could not have achieved so much. They have been encouraging me to take part in the events,” she said.

Nalini is an active member of a self help group associated with Prajna Counselling Centre, Mangaluru.