Arpinder Singh -This is my work place

”My interest did not lie in academics and I dint have many options open back then so I started to try my luck at sports. I started off with track and field events when I was just twelve years old. Initially, I trained for events like 100,200,400,800 meters and then  I moved on to long jump. I was trying really hard but there was no result. I had spent over six months on these events individually but still, there was no improvement. My coach then told me to try triple jump so I did. I started training for triple jump when I was fourteen years old and i have not looked back since then, I liked my training routine especially the jumps so I kept  working on the techniques and in a couple of months my performance increased, seeing this improvement in my jumps, it was a sense of relief.”

Getting to know Arpinder with Chaitanya 
 What connect you to the track?
This is my workplace and I can’t do without my jumps. In this lockdown, I have not been able to jump on the pit, have missed it the most.
 Who has been your inspiration?
I don’t have anyone as such but I have been a great observer since the beginning and  I like to watch the winning jump of the Beijing Olympics by Nelson Evora. I try and follow his work, want to train like him.
 Did Friends and family support?
Yes, of course, My father has done everything in his capacity to help me. We were not financially strong but he never said no to anything. There were times when I  needed imported shoes which he always bought for me, never said a word. He never let me compromise on quality and never told me to wear some other shoe. Those times were extremely different, it was not about just buying the shoe, it was more about looking for it at the correct place, at the correct time and buying it. It was not accessibility easily back then.
What were the Struggles faced in your journey?
I won a silver medal in 2007, It was the U17 school nation event and exactly one year later, I got a major back injury. I could not even half squat, I could not sit or stand up. The gap in my Back Bone had decreased, which was a great issue for me as  I could not do anything throughout the day.
 In 2008, The doctor examined and said that I  will not be able to do sports. Three months he gave me back gel and strict instructions that I am not supposed to lift anything that will cause further implications.
I followed it religiously for three months then I returned back to the track as I was feeling good. My father was worried if it would happen again but I convinced him that nothing would happen and I  continued to train.
  The  Asian Games were coming and I was worried about my back because, through my journey that is something that has always bothered me but with the correct support form the physiotherapist, coach, family and friends, I won the gold at the Asian games. It was a special victory for me as after 48 long years India won a gold in the triple jump event.
 Should Athletes get Reservation? 
Yes, definitely they should get a reservation. Athletes train on an average for  3-4hrs every day.
It’s not possible to professional do both without support. Sports will come up if the reservation is given to students so they can comfortably be able to do both.
 Views about Sports viewership in India
India has less viewership but if you see America and  Europe they have much more.
We need to put sports education in all schools and colleges. The students should have knowledge about all events at the Olympics only then the viewership can increase.
Now that I won for India people know about the event but there are a lot of places in India itself that don’t know about triple jump.
If I go outside my village and someone asks me what I do and I say triple jump, they ask me what is triple jump?. It has happened so many times with me.
 Views about voting
Everyone should vote. But every time it’s Election Day we Indian athletes are not in the country as we have to compete at different competitions abroad or we are stuck at training at India camp.
 Coaches and Indian facilities 
There are a lot of institutes that have come up in India which are working towards producing good athletes for India. They are helping in increasing participation in Olympics for India.
 Message for all  athletes
Doping is a huge issue in India. Everyone around gets caught nowadays. A minimum of Ten people get caught in doping in India. There are a lot of people who deliberately take dope, they know the implication and how harmful it is to the body but still go ahead. I want to tell these people, Don’t take it, Please don’t take it because after getting the national medal you will be in India camp and then NADA will not allow you do to such things.NADA can test you anytime and you can get caught.
Stay away from it cause once you start using it, your normal hormones will stop growing and when you start taking these substances, your growth will stop naturally. The fake growth is not normal for the body. When you take substance you don’t know if you’re going to be there tomorrow. Remember “Fake is fake “
Doing it the ethically way is a correct way as when you do the correct way, you have confidence in your performance and that takes you a long way. Consult the nutritionist and find out the correct diet for your body and follow it.
Chaitanya Prabhu
National Athlete