INDIA: Young gymnasts Ridhhi and Siddhi Hattekar hail from Aurangabad. The twins have an immense passion for artistic gymnastics and are completely dedicated to it. The sisters believe in dreaming and achieving big goals with their immense potential. In 2019, the twins bagged the silver and bronze medal in Women’s Artistic Gymnastics in Khelo India Youth Games.
“Great things never come easily so we realize that we have to work harder and harder every day. As Charles Darwin puts it- The survival of the fittest. If one works harder for achieving something, it makes one feel great after achieving the goal,” said Siddhi.
The beginning of their gymnastics journey
The twins decided to start playing gymnastics because of their elder brother, Prathamesh Hattekar.
“First of all, we got in this field because of my elder brother who used to practice gymnastics. My mother used to take us there when we were about four to five years old. Initially, we didn’t like to go to practice, but then gradually we developed an interest and gymnastics seemed to be fun for us. My father Praveen Hattekar, mother, and my coaches had always supported, encouraged, and motivated me a lot. This made us choose gymnastics as a career. This is how we started gymnastics and are marching ahead successfully,” they said.
Just like any other youngster, Riddhi and Siddhi had a hard time waking up in the morning. However, their love for gymnastics motivated them to wake up and train hard every day.
Talking about this Siddhi said, “It always makes me think about the training I have to do when I get up in the morning. Every day there are different types of training for me as per the schedule, so it’s a new challenge to make myself train harder every day until I feel like I gave my 100% in this training session. It never makes me feel bored.”
“Nobody likes to get up early in the morning and go for training. We too want to sleep more but we know it will be a setback for us. It takes time. It requires dedication and willpower. It demands sacrifice.
After all this devotion, when you reach your goals, it’s worth it and now I think gymnastics is my passion and those things automatically help me to get up early in the morning and go for practice,” Riddhi added.
Taking inspiration from renowned gymnasts
Riddhi and Siddhi both complement each other well. The twins have similar ideologies and future goals. However, when it comes to choosing a role model, they both have different choices.
Siddhi considers Kohei Uchimara as the greatest gymnast of all time. On the other hand, Riddhi is inspired by American artistic gymnast Simon Biles.
Talking about her favorite gymnast Siddhi said, “Kohei Uchimura is one of the greatest gymnasts I have ever seen. He stays calm, confident, and positive while performing. He always gives his best while and never loses. His dedication and passion for gymnastics made him the world record holder with six times being world champion. His personality and competitive spirit make him the greatest gymnast ever. One day I want to perform as gracefully and perfectly as him.”
On the other hand, while talking about her inspiration Riddhi said, “Simon Biles, an American gymnast who is one of the all-time greatest athletes and an artistic gymnast, with a combined total of 30 Olympic and world championship medals is my role model. Her medal count is higher than most gymnasts get in their entire career. She currently has five Olympic medals:- four gold and one bronze. Simon pursues her dream of becoming a top gymnast and had been sacrificing a lot for the cause. She is the best gymnast I’ve ever seen. She is the role model not only for me but for all the young female athletes around the globe.”
When asked if they have a healthy competition between them, the sisters said, “Of course, we see each other as tough competitors. At the time of competition everyone is a tough competitor, but still every time we support and cheer each other for the best performance and to gain more confidence.”
Future of gymnastics in India
Siddhi believes that though gymnastics is developing in India, the gymnasts need more facilities to prepare for the competitive level. She added that the lack of such facilities makes it difficult for Indian gymnasts to reach that level of competition.
“The number of gymnastics winning medals at international level is slowly increasing, It’s an inspiration for the young gymnasts who are getting training for this sports to win medals at international level. Yet Indian gymnasts are doing well, so if they will get proper support and guidance from professional coaches like Mr. Ramkrishna Lokhande, more gymnasts may win medals for India,” she said.
On the other hand, Riddhi believes that in gymnastics there is no such thing as an overnight success. She added that in India people are too obsessed with cricket and they don’t even peep in other sports. “Besides cricket, Indians should also look after other sports like gymnastics with equal interest.”
‘I think if all the gymnasts get a coach like Mr. Ramkrishna Lokhande, players need proper support from the parents and family as well. This will boost their morale and the talent will be converted to opportunities and medals will be pouring on our nation. As per my perspective, the budding gymnasts should be given balanced facilities of education and training for them to be more competitive at the international level.”
“Pour your heart and soul into everything”
When asked about where they see themselves in five years, the twins said, “We want to see ourselves as successful sportspersons and inspiration for everyone, not only in sports but also in our social lives.”
Giving an inspirational message to the youngsters, the twins said, “We would like to give a message to all the young people that Sports teaches us many things that will help us for a lifetime. Every sports person should work really hard to see their dreams to win medals for India come true. In India, most people support only selected sports like cricket. They should also support other sports equally. India will be at the next level in all sorts of sports that will be supported by our citizens. Pour your heart and soul into everything and you will find that anything is possible. Analysis of IMPOSSIBLE makes it ‘I’M Possible’.”