Gold medal winner in shooting, Elavenil Valarivan, believes that we must never stop working on becoming better. Read on to know the secret behind her success which is sure to benefit your child.
By Leena Ghosh
Nineteen-year-old Elavenil Valarivan, the national level shooter from Ahmedabad, brought fame to India by winning the gold medal at the 2018 International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Junior World Cup held in Sydney. She scored an unbelievable 631.4 points in the qualifying rounds, which is also a world record. At the time she created this record, her score surpassed the senior women’s record as well.
In his tweet, her coach and mentor, and Olympic bronze medal winner, Gagan Narang congratulated her by saying, “…631.4 in the Sydney Junior world cup with a World record and now 632.2 with 57 inner tens which is probably a new National Record is mind blowing. Well done ... keep your head down stay focussed.” And, Elavenil has been religiously following her coach’s advice and focussing on getting better and scaling new heights.
ParentCircle caught up with the young shooter to know how she keeps hitting the target each time and her plans for the future.
What got you interested in shooting?
Initially, I started shooting for fun, but eventually, the amount of concentration and patience the game demands is what got me interested.
When did you decide to pursue shooting professionally?
Back in 2014, I got a call letter from the Sports Authority of Gujarat asking me to join their sports school so that I could focus on sports. That was when I decided to take up shooting professionally.
Who is your mentor?
Tell us about the training you went through prior to participating in the ISSF Junior World Cup and breaking the world record…
My coach Neha Chavan and I always focussed on quality training instead of the number of hours I trained. So, we always worked on getting shots of better quality. We trained vigorously for a month before the beginning of the Junior World Cup. We had set tasks for the World University Championship so that I would have a better idea of what to work on in the Junior World Cup match.
We all know about your moments of glory. Tell us about the setbacks you faced as a shooter and how you overcame them…
During training, there were moments where I didn’t perform well and things didn’t go on as expected. On such occasions, I would just sit back and wonder what’s wrong. But, there are many who have put in a lot of effort to help my progress. They are the ones who always motivated me to become better, not only as a shooter but also as a human being. They also helped me make a comeback and improve my performance whenever I felt discouraged.
What's your next goal and how are you training for it?
My goal has always been to become a better version of myself and I am always training for that.
How do you balance academics with sport?
At present, I am pursuing BA in English Literature from Bhavans Arts College in Ahmedabad. But, I have been training in Chennai for the past one year; so, attending college has been difficult. However, the principal and the teachers of my college have been very supportive. They arrange extra lectures for me whenever I am in Ahmedabad. They even send me the study material when I am not attending college.
What lessons have you learnt while performing on the world stage?
To be honest, I am always confident while competing on the world stage. I perform best under pressure. Participating in competitions helps me become aware of my talents and how far I can push myself.
Your message to shooters aspiring to compete at the international level…
I have just one message for everyone — whatever you do, just remember that someone is working harder than you; so, never stop working on improving yourself. A true sportsperson should always work on giving her best, no matter what.
Indeed, for anyone who keeps working on becoming better every day, the results can only be outstanding. Regardless of what field your child wants to pursue, teach her to always stay focussed on her goal and never give up on herself. Let your child aim at the sky and shoot the stars!
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