Last summer, Anushi Desai spent 20 days at a training camp for discus throwers in Portland, Oregon. Now the 15-year-old is looking forward to the next edition of the South Asian Games, where she will represent India in the event.
No, one summer camp did not transform Anushi into a world-beater. But the camp honed her technique, improved her performance and focussed her athletic energies: She had attended a skiing camp in Zermatt in Switzerland in 2008 (which she enjoyed immensely), and also plays handball, football and track events. However, when she began excelling at the discus, winning at the state and national levels in 2010, her mother Malini trawled the internet and shortlisted two training camps in the US. After zeroing in on Portlands Throwers Academy, run by Olympian Mac Wilkins, the family scheduled their summer holiday around the camp.
"The training was fun, with different exercises every day," says Anushi. What was especially beneficial was Coach Wilkins decision to videotape Anushi's action, which helped her perfect her turn-and-throw technique. In December that year, at the Maharashtra Schools Sports Meet, Anushi would go on to break the record for discus throw, improving her own performance by as much as 15-20 percent.
Training with another Olympic winner-turned-coach, the Romanian Adrian Ginju, worked fabulously for 10-year-old Toshi Mahrotri as well. While planning to visit New York, the Mahrotris investigated summer programmes that would add some structure to the holidays for their two young children. "We really lucked out
12:14 PM, Apr 09, 2012