Tamil Nadu’s J. Coleshiya takes a leap of faith

Champions shape their destiny by looking squarely in the faces of adversaries and adversity. Tamil Nadu’s J. Coleshiya might be just 15-years-old, but she has tackled both the challenges with a great panache and determination.

Her gold in the girls triple jump event in which she recorded a distance of 12.29 metres is a testimony of her talent and determination to excel in the face of surmounting odds. The student of St. Theresa’s Girls’ Higher Secondary School, Chennai lost her father at a very young age. It fell upon her mother, a flower picker by profession, who also works in a beedi factory to support her three children and nurture Coleshiya’s dreams of making it big in athletics.  

Coleshiya showed early promise when she won gold in the u-14 long jump event for girls at the 32nd Junior National Championship in Coimbatore in 2016. Since then she has switched to triple jump, but her golden streak remains undiminished. The gold medal in the triple jump event in the Khelo India School Games is a vindication of a mother’s faith in her daughter. “I have been able to pursue by career only because of the support of mother. She had to make a lot of sacrifices. I am very happy to gift my mother another gold medal,” said Coleshiya.

The Tamil Nadu triple jumper won a gold medal in the SGFI National Games last year. Her coach, M. Dev Shekhar, is full of praise for the Khelo India programme, which is tended to help talented athletes just like Coleshiya. “I am thankful to the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs for laying the foundation of Khelo India. It will go a long way in helping athletes like Coleshiya. It will motivate them to work even harder and reach their true potential,” said Dev Shekhar.

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