Payal Kela of Inventure Academy was a standout during Banaglore School Games at Kanteerva Stadoum held recently. This 14 year old won two golds in the individual event and added one in the 4X 400 relay. Excepts of her interview with Media Pod (MP) students.
MP: What was your preparedness level for the event?
PK: The organizers had done a great job of inviting over 50 schools and over 1000 students. The athletics facilities at the stadium were also fantastic. The stands were rather empty.
At Inventure, the participants used the Dussehera holidays to train for the event. It was heartening to see so many of Inventure kids come for practice every morning for 2 hours.
MP. How did you typically feel on the day before the event and just before the event is about to start?
PK: The day before the event I was a bit nervous. I knew that I worked hard for the event and that I would just do my best . Half an hour before my event I was extremely nervous and was trying to relax by lying down . My dad encouraged me to just do my best without worrying about winning or losing and that helped me calm down a bit.
IA. How did it feel to represent your school at Bangalore School Games?
PK: It was a great feeling to represent my school in the tournament and be with other Inventure kids who were all in the same boat and competing. I also felt that the school had expectations of some of doing well in the competition so there was a sense of drive along with nervousness to not let the school down.
IA.What does it feel to see your names in some of the leading national dailies?
PK: Winning 3 Gold medals in 400M, 800M and 4x400 competing against all Bangalore schools and to see my name in the papers was one of the best feelings I had that I will cherish for a long time. It was very motivating. I realized that I had accomplished something big. I have always wanted to make my family, coach and school proud of me and I felt I had accomplished it.
It was also a proud moment for me to be part of bringing Inventure in the limelight. The school has done a lot for people like me and I felt that my efforts would make the school proud.
IA. What motivates you as a sportsperson?
PK: Sports intrinsically drive one towards perfection because you are always striving to get to the first place in any competition. I love sports and always want to compete and that has lead me to become a perfectionist.
IA. What is the role played by your school in your achievements?
PK: Inventure is very supportive of sports and has a great infrastructure for us athletes to train and develop. Nooraine mam, Kishen Sir and Srini Sir provide excellent moral and hands-on support and the practice session that they have introduced after-school are making a huge impact on our performance.
Also, I noticed that at the tournament our school team was pouring their heart and soul out and cheering us on when one of us was competing.
IA. What are the qualities of sports which you can apply in classrooms as well?
PK: My dad always says, in sports you have to lose many times to get that one win. These losses are initial disappointments but if you take it the right way, they are excellent motivators to improve yourself and do better in the subsequent races. Also, sports require tremendous discipline and focus. The combination of the these two qualities is generally applicable in studying as well. I find myself more focused and motivated (if I do badly) to do well in tests and exams as a result of sports.
IA. What are your future plans?
PK: I would love to represent India in a major sports event such as Common Wealth Games, Asian Games or even Olympics. I know that a long shot but I would like to give it a try.
Also, I feel that I would like to provide a world-class sports environment for future athletes in India and increase the awareness and interest in sports in India. I would love to start a sports academy where we can focus on producing world-class champions.