Paddler on a swift forward march

Paddler on a swift forward march

Varun B Kashyap is ranked seventh among Cadet boys in the country. DH photo/ Srikanta Sharma R

What started as a casual physical activity has now become an inseparable part of Varun B Kashyap’s life. And he has begun to bring laurels for Karnataka in his chosen sport.

Varun won several State mini cadet table tennis titles in 2016. In 2017 and 2018, the 12-year-old bagged the boys’ cadet title in the State Championship. He turned out for Karnataka in the National Championships in Goa (2017) and Chandigarh (2018). He was also the runner-up in the National-ranking Tournament (Indore in July, 2018). He is currently India No 7 among cadet boys.

The sixth standard student of Bangalore International Academy took up TT in 2014. Badminton was his first love, playing with his brother Vishnu, but coach Suresh Babu noted that Varun had naturally good TT strokes. On his advice, Varun tried TT for a few days and got hooked to it.

Varun’s daily regimen includes fitness training in the morning, attending school, TT practice from 4-8.30 pm and studies from 9-10.30 pm. “I follow the same routine and do not get tired because I am enthusiastic about TT,” he said.

He gets ample encouragement from his parents MP Badrinath and Sunitha R. His school too is very supportive. “My school allows me to write exams separately if I miss main exams due to tournaments. My school encourages me a lot.

“I catch up with my studies on Sunday since I do only fitness in the morning and no other training,” he stated, adding that TT helps in concentrating on studies as well.

Varun aims to improve his footwork and fitness as he prepares for the 2019 season that begins in May. He is a big fan of cricketer Virat Kohli. “I like Virat because he is so fit and quick on the field,” he said.

Varun aims to represent India and win a gold medal at an international meet. “I want to win a gold medal and listen to the National anthem being played in an international event, like Hima Das,” he remarked.

Coach Babu said: “He is a natural player from the time he started and has a bright future.” Varun also receives advanced coaching from former international player and coach Bona Thomas John as he looks to make an impact in his chosen sport.