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Phoenix Gymnastics Academy Students bags medals at VITRIGO INTERNATIONAL CUP 2016

Five Thane City Girls who are Disciples of International Gymnast and coach, Pooja Surve,recently represented India in rhythmic gymnasticsCompetition at the VITRIGO INTERNATIONAL CUP 2016, and won 3 medals for India. VITRIGO INTERNATIONAL CUP 2016, was held at National Sports Council , Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur between August 10 to 14. There were a total of over 400 gymnasts representing 35 teams from 15 countries and six different states in Malaysia who had participated across different age groups. Representing India were, Sanyukta Kale, Manavi Chitnis, Kimaya Karle in under 10 age group , Asmi Badade, and Shreya Bhangale in under 12 age group ably led by Mansi Surve who is herself a senior rhythmic gymnast and trainer. For the first time in the history of Indian Rhythmic Gymnastics, Sanyukta Kale came back winning 3 medals representing India ­ a Silver Medal in Freehand Routine, a Bronze Medal in Ball Routine and a Silver Medal as a All­Round champion in U­10 age group.

Phoenix Gymnastics Academy started 5 years back when Shri. Sudhakar Chavan, now President, Thane Zilla Gymnastics Association had a vision to make Thane City a leading centre of learning rhythmic gymnastics, roped in International Gymnast Ms. Pooja Surve. Pooja is an international gymnast who has represented India at various world championships, world cups, and lately in commonwealth games in 2010. Today she is FIG level 1 International Coach and is also a prestigious Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Awardee. Recently she has been appointed as the official broadcaster and Gymnastic technical expert Star Sports 3 for Rio Olympics 2016.

Today with minimal training facilities in terms of no dedicated training hall, young gymnasts do not get the required amount of practice time. Further, since they practice on the hard floor or simple mats which are not at par with international standards, they are prone to serious hand and leg injuries. When these gymnasts go for international competitions, they find it very difficult to adjust on the international mats used there. Despite all odds and systemic challenges coach Pooja Surve plays all in one role of Administrator, fund­raiser, coach, motivator, strategist, teacher and even as a sister being fondly addressed as “Pooja­tai” by all her students, have earned her over 400 medals representing Thane district and Maharashtra at various state and national level competitions over the last 5 years and now 3 international medals as well. Thane City now on the world map in Rhythmic Gymnastics!!

Gymnastics is often called as the mother of all games all over the world however in India it is not as popular and do not have international level training facilities either. With the recent brilliant performance by Dipa Karmakar an artistic gymnast in Rio, India has arrived on the world stage in Gymnastic Sport. Rhythmic gymnastics is just around the corner and these young girls from Thane City are now eager and motivated to perform and bring more laurels for India and there is no looking back from here on. A quality international level training facility for rhythmic gymnastics ­ a girl only sport is the need of the hour and we hope that the systemic challenges are addressed at the highest level by the concerned sports ministry promptly.

“Beti badhao, Beti Khilao”

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