Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Vishnu Reghunath is the 24-year-old kayaker from Kerala who has won medals at the national and international level and has retained number one rank in the country for long. Recently, he won a gold medal in kayak single 200m contest at National Games of India 2022.
However, he has yet to receive sponsorship or financial support. He is funding all what is required for water sports on his own. Reghunath is in Indian Navy, where he got a job on his own merit.
"I joined Navy when I was 18, and since then, I've noticed that my fellow batchmates who are into other sports receive funding while I don't because my sport isn't that popular," he said.
Vishnu started kayaking at the age of 13 at his maternal house as his mother was a kayaker too. “She was among the first women kayaking batch of our country,” he added. She pursued it for two years but couldn't achieve much and hence she desired to live her dream through her children.
When asked about maintaining his leading position, Reghunath said, "I've realised that reaching number one position isn't that hard but maintaining it is a lot harder." He added, "Managing practice and my job is very tiring as there are times when I don't get to see my family for months. I follow a rigid schedule while moving from one city to another every three months."
"Currently, I'm looking forward to earning a medal at Asian Games, and my prime goal is to make kayaking recognised because of me. I'm working in that direction," he told Free Press. He considers his coach Ching Ching Singh an inspiration.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)