For Vidishaa Mundhra, a Class X student of Lakshmipat Singhania Academy, the day begins on wheels. Morning walkers in New Town may often spot the young girl skating around the roads of the east Kolkata township.
The Edugraph 18 Under 18 Award winner made it to the finals of the National Roller Skating Championship organised by the Roller Skating Federation of India in December 2021.
Falling in love with skating
Vidishaa started training when she was four years old. But skating was then just a recreational activity. A few years on, she started pursuing it as a serious sport and then began the hard work. “I trained for about a year and half and then quit for a year. Till then, I skated just for fun, not really focusing on it as something serious. But for the past seven to eight years, I have been practising roller skating properly,” she said.
The 14-year-old has been taking skating lessons from coach Victor Balmiki. “I train on the roads of New Town in the morning and in the evening I skate in Ultadanga and Bidhan Sishu Udyan,” Vidishaa said.
Her school, Lakshmipat Singhania Academy, too, offers students a skating programme. “Vidishaa Mundhra has achieved through her roller-skating skills what many aspire for. The school’s robust roller-skating programme provided her the necessary wherewithal. We feel proud to see her excel and grow into a fine young lady,” said Meena Kak, the director of Lakshmipat Singhania Academy.
A regular participant in the West Bengal State Skating Competitions organised by the Roller Skating Association of West Bengal for the past few years, Vidishaa has several gold and bronze medals to her credit.
“The state-level competitions are held every year between October and December. I have been participating for the past five years and every year I have won a medal. Last year, I came first in all my races,” Vidishaa said. State-level medal winners are selected to represent their states at the national level.
The Edugraph 18 Under 18 award has been a huge motivation. “It was a great opportunity. I felt really good about winning,” said the New Town girl.
What started off as fun is now a serious sport for roller skater Vidishaa Mundhra. Source: ABP Digital
Beating the lockdown
Vidishaa had to stop skating outdoors during the lockdown but she kept up with exercises through online sessions conducted by her coach.
“We had virtual exercise classes during the lockdown. Our coach had a session with the whole team for two hours in the morning or the evening. This included skating-related exercises and working out. Then we would wear the skates and just sit for an hour or two. This was done so that our legs could still get the feel of being in skates. So, when we started skating again, it would not be too new for us,” she said.
Vidishaa's idol is Aarathy Kasturiraj, the 22-year-old MBBS student and skater from Chennai who has won 130 medals, including 111 golds, in national and international tournaments.
Life lessons from skating
Like any other sport, skating is a patient teacher. “Skating has taught me to work hard and to never give up. It has also taught me to be patient. Things take time in this field. If I practise for two to three hours today, I am not going to get the results tomorrow. I can only start seeing results after three to four months,” said the 14-year-old.