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24 Mar 2019, Edition - 1349, Sunday

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Coimbatore

Sugunapuram’s ‘Silambarasi’ brings laurels to country

Prasath Selvaraj

Twenty-year-old Pavithra Priyadarshini is all smiles while accepting greetings and congratulatory wishes from a stream of visitors coming to meet her at her home in Sugunapuram ever since she returned from Sri Lanka, winning four medals at the South Asian Silambam Championship.

Pavithra bagged three golds and one silver in the senior women’s category in the championship organised by the Sri Lankan Silambam Federation held from October 3 to 5.

Encouraged by her parents, Pavithra started her training in Silambam at the age of eight. “Rigorous and constant practice for three to four hours daily helped me achieve this,” she says. With this, Pavithra has now qualified to represent the country at the Asian Championship to be held in February next.

Pavithra, along with her brother Vijay Abimanyu (who won a bronze in the men’s junior category) were trained by Angappan from Tiruchengode.

“I owe this victory to my parents and coach. My teachers at Ashram Matriculation School, where I studied, and its management encouraged me a lot since the beginning. Without their support, I would not have reached here,” she adds.

“People think that Silambam is a sport only for men. In most of the cinemas the heroes are seen with the Silambam. But the truth is that even women can do it. Silambam is not only a traditional martial art associated with Tamil culture, but also an activity that helps us in keeping our mind and body fit,” Pavithra says.

In order to promote Silambam among the general public, Pavithra and Vijay Abimanyu have started training children in Silambam free of cost. So far they have trained 250 children, out of which 50 have achieved in district and State level championships.

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