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Aug 01, 2017 at 13:35

Jessica Ennis Hill has famously said, “The Pain You Feel Today, Will Be The Strength You Feel Tomorrow.” Inspired by these words, Vanshika Sejwal takes us through her journey at the World School Games, representing India

There will be many people in your life saying you can’t, many people will try to demean you, you don’t need to answer them back, work hard and let your success speak for you.
Once there was a time when people used to say no she can’t, she is not made for athletics, but the two words which held me strong were: motivation and determination.
I worked hard; failed many a times, but never lost hope.

I always had my family’s support because they were the only people who had faith in me. Success comes late but it does come: 20 June, 2016 was that life changing moment for me, the day I truly felt that hard work always pay.

I was selected for my first international competition, ‘WORLD SCHOOL GAMES’, in which I got a chance to represent INDIA.

It all started when I was called for the selection trials of World School Games in Kozhikode Kerala, almost two months back. So, I went there with my dad and grandfather, we all were really excited and I gave my trials with all my might, in order to get selected. As soon as I finished my trial, I was pretty happy with my performance and even crossed the qualifying mark, but the results were to be declared later. When we reached to Delhi, I started my practice with my high jump coach. One fine evening, my dad got a call from the selection committee….when I asked him about it, he spoke to me with a smile on his face, “Beta you got selected for World School Games.” At that time, I had no words to express my feelings, I was at the top of the world. This was my first step to success, there are many more international tours yet to come. I was excited as well as nervous, as I thought about what kind of people will I meet there, how tough the competition will be, how will the place be and other such things.

Two days before boarding our flights, we were given that precious thing which most of us wait for: ‘our Indian kit’. It is very special to wear that Indian track suit. We all boarded the flight at around 4:00am and reached Trabzon, Turkey at 11:00pm. The next day when we woke up, my window had a jaw-dropping view.

It was very beautiful: the never ending dead sea. The upcoming days brought more excitement and thrill to my journey, at the opening ceremony, unknowingly, I was made the flag bearer of the Indian contingent; which would be special for any athlete. Then, from the second day, we were taken to the track, looking at it, I was overcome with a different feeling altogether: the track was blue in color.

The track on which I have usually seen star players perform, that day, I stood on the same track; the feeling cannot be expressed in words. It was the second day when I had my finals of high jump, there I couldn’t perform well due to some unavoidable circumstances.

But the experience I got there was immense, I saw what kind of an attitude do the foreign athletes have and their different warming up methods. On the fourth day, we were taken to various famous places in Trabzon — we went to a garden, then to a church where we witnessed a Christian wedding (I had never seen one before), after that we were taken to a local market called ‘Maidan’ and at last to the mall (forum Trabzon), there we were shown their cultural event which involved dancing and singing, moreover, we danced along with the Turkish people, learning few steps from them and making them learn few of our “desi” steps. This was the best part of my trip. On the last day, we had a closing ceremony along with a dj night where all the people of various countries came together and danced to their fullest. That day was the wrap up, we were a bit upset at the thought of leaving that heavenly place, but on the other hand, excited to go back home.

The trip was an amalgam of new experiences: making new friends, having Turkish food, roaming around wherever we wanted to. Most importantly, I learnt how to live an independent life and make my own decisions. It was so silent and peaceful there that one would not want to ever leave the place. I feel that everyone should experience this once in their lifetime, as it is a great opportunity for exploration.

Vanshika Sejwal

Student Reporter