A champ at 9, Tshering Tashi inspires with his passion for swimming

Gangtok, 12 Sept:

Nine-year-old Tshering Tashi is proving to be an inspiration for even older aspiring swimmers of the State. He has already proven his mettle and talent with outstanding achievements in a very short time.

Tshering is the youngest son of Karma Doma Bhutia and Tsewang Norbu Bhutia of Ranka, East Sikkim. He is a class IV student of Tashi Namgyal Academy. Inspired by his elder brother and after convincing his parents and coach, he started swimming at 5 when he was still a kindergartner.

His dedication and interest was so strong that Tshering started to report for swimming class at the TNA swimming pool at 6:30 in the morning every day. Remember, he ahd to travel all the way from Ranka.

And he has stayed the course and practices every morning from 6:30 to 7:30am and again from 2:30pm to 4:30 in the evening.

He started swimming under coaches Peter Lepcha and Mickma Lepcha [Akula] and is currently taking training under coach Karishma Poudyal.

Tshering proved his mettle by winning a silver medal in group-4 of sub-junior category in his competition debut at the state-level swimming championship organised by Sikkim Amateur Swimming Association [SASA] in 2017.

In the next edition of the state-level swimming competition, he bagged 4 gold medals in his category and was adjudged the Best Swimmer in the sub-junior category.

In the latest edition of the tournament, Tshering won 6 gold medals, 1 bronze medal and 1 silver medal in his category and also in a few upgraded age categories. He also defended his title of the Best Swimmer in sub-junior category this year.

“I will practice even harder to participate in national and international level competitions. We don’t have heated water in our swimming pool so I cannot practice all year round. If we were to get heaters then we can practice throughout the year,” he shares.

Swimming at TNA is held from April to mid-October.

Tshering has thanked his parents for constantly supporting his passion.

He who does well in all styles and wants to be a swimmer like Olympic medallist, Michael Phelps.

Tshering’s parents expressed their happiness and satisfaction with the performance and achievements of their son. They add that the State has developed a lot of swimming talent and all that these swimmers needed was an Olympic size swimming pools and other infrastructure and facilities to bring out national and international swimmers from the State.

They mentioned that TNA and SASA have been working hard to promote swimming and to provide a platform to swimmers. They suggested that the State government start sending promising swimmers for better coaching and exposure outside the State.