July 2, 2012

The Hindu : FEATURES / METRO PLUS : Serving it right

The Hindu : FEATURES / METRO PLUS : Serving it right

TENNIS ace, Sharmada Balu in Counseling with Celebrity Sports Nutritionist RYAN FERNANDO, Watch the insights in this counseling and why you should invest in a SPORTS NUTRITION PROGRAM FOR YOUR CHILD


Sharmada Balu's career graph is on an upward swing. The 17-year old Sharmada has jumped from beyond 1000 to just over 700 in the women's ITF rankings after her title winning effort at the Lucknow ITF $ 10,000 women's championship, this April.
She is now 5'10” tall, packs a real punch in her forehand and has earned a reputation for not giving up when the chips are down.
“That's been her greatest gain, in recent times,” says her coach Arjun Goutham, at the fledgling Tennis Excellence Academy, where the 10th standard student from Poorna Learning Open School student, sweats it out everyday.
“She is very talented. With a few more strokes in her armoury and a fitness regime in place, Sharmada will go a long way,” contends Arjun.
He adds, “Her serve and winning big points are her strengths.”
Born in a sports-loving family, Sharmada was started on gymnastics at the age of seven by her father, a State-level roller-skating champion.
A two-year stint at the Sports Promotion Association (SPA) provided the impetus for the young girl, who trained under Kiran and the Mahila Seva Samaja in Basavanagudi.
Sharmada joined the Tennis Village in 2001 and was handpicked by Indian Davis Cupper Mahesh Bhupathi for the Foundation for Indian Sports Talent (FIST) programme before being drafted into the Apollo Tyres Mission 2018 programme.
“I was coached by Mose Navarra, Prahlad Srinath and others. It was a fantastic experience.
I got to travel around the world and played in different conditions and surfaces. Unfortunately, the programme closed down abruptly,” she says.
“My parents – Balu and mother Suman – were pillars of strength and ensured that my exposure trips did not suffer even after the Apollo Mission.
At Tennis Excellence Academy, since last April, Sarmada says, “the introduction of fitness coach Vikram Aiyappa, mind coach Shree Advani and Nutrition coach Ryan Fernando ( VIEW Sharmada's SPORTS NUTRITION PROGRAM HERE)have contributed to my all round development,” vouches the teenager. In February this year, Sharmada was ranked in the 1300's but a good showing in the semi-finals at Ahmedabad and the Lucknow title win catapulted her to 700.

She is currently attending a 45-day fitness and conditioning camp under trainer Javier Captaine in Barcelona, Spain.
“At this moment, I am digging deep into my parents funds and will need a sponsor chipping in soon. Wimbledon glory and Olympic gold is very much in my radar but to reach there I need to play more at the international level.”
AVINASH NAIR
Wimbledon glory
and Olympic gold

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