TBI BLOGS: The Story of Kishore, Who Fought Poverty & Even Polio to Become a Leading Gym Trainer

Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA) ensures holistic development of youth of Anantapur, especially those from underprivileged and marginalized backgrounds, by providing them with quality and sustainable access to sports coaching, infrastructure and equipment, while maintaining focus on education, nutrition and career development.

A dynamic and highly energetic gym trainer, V. M. Kishore Kumar personifies the example of victory over nature’s predicament. Read the story of how this young man worked extremely hard to triumph over both poverty and polio.

It is easy to give up and blame circumstances for one’s shortcomings, but “the joy of achieving is only felt when you persevere through life to overcome difficulties.” This joy only comes with hard work, sacrifice and a lot of support and encouragement. A dynamic and highly energetic V. M. Kishore Kumar personifies the example of victory over nature’s predicament.

Kishore grew up in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, and belongs to a very poor family. He is  the son of an uneducated truck driver and a housewife and is the eldest of three brothers.

Kishore, at age five, was diagnosed with polio due to the lack of proper medical facilities in the district. He suffered this major setback early in life but was always keen to move on from it and complete his education despite the polio.

Then and Now images of Kishore from 2007(Left) and 2016(Right))

Then and Now images of Kishore from 2007(Left) and 2016(Right)

He did so and after finishing Class 10, Kishore looked for a higher purpose. This purpose began initially with the idea of maintaining an enviable physique despite his inability to use his legs. The young 16-year-old took to body building in 2000. He began training with basic free hand exercises. The family, particularly his mother, was concerned and suggested that he stick to completing his education and getting a government job for a better life.

His father, on the other hand, was very supportive of the idea and personally got involved in training Kishore whenever he could. He suggested that he continue to do basic free hand exercises. That would help him grow stronger and build stamina. Kishore soon found himself a pair of grinding stones and a rod, which he used for his weight training.

After training on his own, Kishore participated in the District Body Building Championship for Physically Disabled and won this tournament twice, in 2001 and in 2002. Later, he participated at the Mr. Rayalseema competition in 2004 and in the Mr. Andhra competition in 2007, securing second spot in the latter.

It was the year of 2007 that Kishore sees as a pivotal point in his life.

Kishore ensuring his pupil trains right

This was the year his hard work and never say die attitude was noticed by Rural Development Trust (RDT), who offered him a role as their Gym In-charge and senior trainer at their Gymnasium at the Anantapur Sports Village (ASV), an irresistible offer that Kishore had not the faintest hint of.

Accepting this opportunity, Kishore took office on the 3rd of April 2007, and since then he has been a beacon of light to many youngsters. He continued his passion for body building further, by participating in the Mr. Andhra contest yet again, ending up as the runner up at the competition two years straight in 2009 and 2010. Later, he participated in the South India Physically Handicapped Body Building Championship in 2011 and 2012, taking 4th and 3rd place, respectively.

Kishore continued to train people, young and old. And in 2012, he saw his first pupil – a 68-year-old male, win the Mr. Rayalseema competition in the Masters Category. Moreover, exactly 10 years after winning the prestigious Mr. Rayalseema himself, Kishore was crowned champion again in 2012, however this time with two more of his pupils securing 2nd & 3rd positions. His highlight as a coach came last year when two of his pupils won Mr. Rayalseema and another two secured Runners Up positions.

RDT has had a big role to play in the transformation of Kishore’s life, as they noticed the promise that he had as a youth and thus offered him a job which took into account his passion for the gym and weight training.

Kishore overseeing another of his pupil's training

Kishore shares, “Now my polio stricken legs are the least of my bother. I have also left behind the uneducated past of my family by completing my MA in Public Administration, and I look forward to getting a PhD to bring pride to Mother and late Father, whom I lost in 2011. RDT offered me a platform to prove to the world that we can overcome our difficulties in life, despite disabilities like polio and I hope to make them proud by achieving my dream of participating at the Paralympics as a power lifter and also participating in the Mr. India and Mr. Universe competitions.”

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