Hyderabad: Hyderabad is on its way to becoming the sailing destination of India, says Telangana State Tourism Secretary Burra Venkatesham,
“No city with a population of over 10 million has as favorable weather as Hyderabad does for the sport of Sailing,” he said at the concluding ceremony of the 10th edition of Monsoon Regatta on Sunday.
The event this year saw an overwhelming participation of 111 sailors from all over India, 60 out of which were from Telangana. And it is the Telangana Social Welfare Residential Education Society that has been fundamental in getting the best talent pool for the State.
In collaboration with Suheim Sheikh, the founder and president of the Yacht Club of Hyderabad, the society has been training hundreds of underprivileged children for past few years. So it is no surprise that 24 out of the 60 participants from Telangana were from Social Welfare Schools. In fact, they didn’t just win medals for Telangana but also qualified for Navy and Army selections.
“Sailing has always been associated as a rich man’s sport. It just wasn’t accessible. We wanted to change that and give these students maximum opportunities,” R S Praveen Kumar, Secretary TSWREIS told Telangana Today.
“For our residential students, sailing came naturally as our State is blessed with several accessible water bodies. They logistically do not suffer any problems and we give them everything they need to succeed,” he added.
This year, 8 students from Shaikpet, Chilkur and Hayathnagar won medals in 12 races that took place over a period of 4 days.
Among which John Yerroulu, a class eight student from Telangana Residential School in Shaikpet was selected to join the sailing team of the Indian Army.
Last year, five students, Vamshi, Mallesh, Sachin, Vijay and Vishwanath were selected by the Navy and the Army. They are currently studying at Kendriya Vidyalayas in Goa and Bangalore and are undergoing training.
“All these students have an appetite to succeed and we being the largest training institution in the country make sure they are trained and guided well. Our target is to have 150 sailors in the water by next year and with sailing gaining so much popularity we are sure we will be able to achieve that,” Suheim told Telangana Today.