A 14-year-old boy has been selected for representing India in the junior boy’s yachting team in Optimist World Sailing Championship 2021. Padidala Vishwanath, son of a daily wage labourer, is a young sailor of Navy Boys Sports Company (NBSC), INS Mandovi, Goa. Vishvanath is the youngest of three brothers and both his parents work as daily wage labourers in Hyderabad.
While speaking to India Today, Vishwanath’s father Saidulu revealed that 20 years back when they left the village, their aim was to earn money and educate their children. Praising Vishvanath, Saidulu said that he was the most hard-working among the three,due to which he was selected for Telangana residential social welfare school. He informed that at the school, IPS RS Parvin Kumar identified his talent and provided him the right support and guidance.
Saidulu, who works at a construction site in Mahabubnagar, informed that Vishwanath wishes to become a professional sailor in future. At the tender age of 12, the child was selected by Navy Boys Sports Company and was given proper training in the field. Through a joint venture NBSC, the Indian Navy and Sports Authority of India has been continuously training young talents like Vishwanath. The joint venture aims to nurture the children and make them capable of winning medals in Asian Championships as well as the Olympics.
Earlier in 2017, Vishvanath has won a silver medal in an international event in the sub-junior International Regatta. Since then, he has been a part of the National Squad in Optimist.
Talents like Vishvanath, if nurtured properly, will be able to make their way to the Olympics. As of now, India does not have a stand when it comes to Sailing in Olympics. India had competed in only one event in all the Olympics. But this year, for the first time, India will compete in three sailing events and four Indian sailors have been qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.