Poorva Shetye is one of the most talented swimmers in the country and she is busy training for the upcoming World University Games. In spite of her tight schedule, she took time to have a brief chat with us.
When and why did you start swimming?
I began swimming when I was seven. I started because I had asthma and doctor suggested swimming. That is when I started and my dad wanted both his daughters to get into some other sport since he was a state champion in table tennis and chess.
Were you ever afraid of water?
I was very scared of water. I had scratched the coach so much that he did not want to train me again.
Favourite swimming style
I am a breaststroker.
The difference in strategy when swimming 10,000 metres vs 50 metres
There is a huge difference in training for 10km and 50m. 10km needs lot of endurance training which includes more than 15km per day in 2 sessions, whereas in 50m we need lot of power workout sprinting.
How would you compare the experience of swimming in the Commonwealth Games vs. swimming in the World Championship in Barcelona?
In Commonwealth Games, I qualified for my main event, i.e., breaststroke. It was less competitive when compared to the World Championship. And also before I went for the World Championship, I had met with an accident two days before leaving for Barcelona. Doctors had taken out my stitches so I could not even train for it. It was difficult to move my leg, but I managed to finish 10km sea swimming.
Proudest moment in the pool
Proudest moment was when I came first in Jaipur Nationals which was unexpected since I was second till the last 90m in 100m breaststroke and covered up in the last 10m and came first and qualified for Commonwealth Games.
How is your training shaping up for the World University Games?
We have been training under national coach Pradeep Kumar, one of the best coaches in India. We have been training really hard. We just came to Chandigarh for the camp. We hope to train well before leaving for the games.
Two other girls from Jain (Deemed-to-be University), Meenakshi VKR and Rakshith Shetty, are participating, how is your camaraderie?
Yes, we have been training together in Basavanagudi Aquatic Center for a long time now, so we have a really good bonding amongst us.
The support you get from the university / coaches
The University and especially Shankar sir and Chenraj sir and my coach Pradeep sir have been my backbone for swimming. Without their backing, it would have been impossible for me to reach such a level. I am very lucky to have their support and blessing with me always. Be it attendance, exams or extra classes, any help and they will try to help me in all possible ways.
Who is your favourite swimmer and why?
Rehan Poncha, since he has achieved so much but never has ego and is always a down-to-earth person.
Hobbies/sports that you love other than swimming
I love reading, badminton, and listening to music.
Plans for the future
I want to help sportspersons financially and help them achieve their dreams. I want to help people who have the potential, but cannot support themselves.