Tejas P Ramesh is driven by massive will power. At the 56th national roller-skating championship at Visakhapatnam in December, Tejas produced a brilliant show of three gold and one silver in inline speed skating. But 20 days prior to the tournament, even participating in the meet appeared bleak for the 16-year-old.
“He fell on his right hand while training and suffered a fracture. The national meet was nearing and we were worried. But Tejas is blessed with good mental strength. In the end, he left us proud and happy with three gold medals,” says Prateek Raja, Tejas’ coach at Force 1 club.
Tejas doesn’t believe in quitting. “It was in 2014 when I first faced a big challenge. I had prepared well for the nationals but a couple of days before the competition, I was down with diarrhoea. I had gone weak but I hate to give up. So I chose to fight it out and I reached the finals. I didn’t win any medal but I felt confident that I could face such tough situations,” he recollects.
Tejas, a 10th standard student of Deccan International School, is one of the country’s promising inline speed skaters. His consistent performances on the national circuit helped him earn a place in the Indian team for the Inline Speed Skating World Championship in Netherlands and for the 18th Roller Skating Asian Championship in South Korea last year.
“At the international events, I realised the gulf in infrastructure between India and other countries. And I was inspired by the skaters’ passion for the sport,” Tejas offers.
Apart from his coach Prateek, an Ekalavya awardee, Tejas thanks his parents PA Ramesh Babu, managing partner of AVR Group and VIRA’s and mother Padma Ramesh, a home-maker, for their constant support. Early on, skating was purely for recreational purpose for Tejas.
“When he was five years old, we enrolled him in a summer camp. We just wanted him to enjoy during vacations. Things changed when he began winning medals in district meets. We realised he is capable of achieving more,” says Padma.
Prateek, who worked on his balance in the initial days, is happy with Tejas’ progress. Currently, Tejas is working hard to qualify for the World Roller Games to be held in Barcelona later this year. The youngster also has a bigger dream. “I want to be the country’s fastest skater,” he says.