Chitresh Tatha from Chennai has proved that age is just a number and it is never too early to find your passion. He started sailing in 2009 and today he is the youngest sailor from India at the Asian Games 2014. Inspired by his sister, Tatha has been extensively practicing to grab a medal at the Games. Let’s learn more about the little champ!
We dream of becoming a doctor, a lawyer, a pilot, an actor and so many different things when we are growing up and in our adolescent years. With the passage of time and changing priorities, our dreams change too.
But Chitresh Tatha has a different story to tell. He is just 12 and has already figured it all out. This young lad from Tamil Nadu is the youngest sailor from India to participate in the recently commenced Asian Games at Incheon, South Korea.
Tatha is a national champion in the ‘Optimist’ category, which is a small, single-handed sailing dinghy used by children up to the age of 15. Being one of the most popular categories, there are over 1,50,000 boats registered in this class.
A passion for sailing has taken this grade 7 student from Chennai’s Bhavan’s Rajaji Vidyashram school to countries like the UK, Malaysia, Turkey, Ireland, France, Bahrain, the Netherlands and Malta.
He started sailing when he was just eight years old and has been training extensively under the Yachting Association of India’s chief national coach Pete Conway and assistant coach Umesh Naiksatam.
“I began sailing in 2009 and it came naturally to me. I love being on the water. It gives me great joy,” he told the New Indian Express.
He first developed an interest in the sport when he saw his sister Meghna sailing in the Laser Radial category and thought of giving the sport a try himself. Since then, he has never looked back and even won the gold medal in the India International Regatta (Under-12) in 2013.
The young genius makes sure that he practices six hours every day and hasn’t even been to school for six months now.
“I’m making up for the missed hours at school by studying at home. Thankfully my teachers have been very supportive and that’s helped me focus on sailing completely”, Chitresh told The Times of India.
An ambitious boy, Chitresh aims to grab a medal for the country in the ongoing games. He revealed his plans to The New Indian Express, “India has never won a [sailing] medal in the Asiad, but I’d like to change that. A podium finish would be perfect.” Selected after winning 8 out of 15 races and grabbing one of the top five positions in the remaining races, Tatha wants to make the most of this opportunity at the Asian Games.
Tatha proves that age is just a number and you are never too young to find your passion. We wish good luck to this young sailor and hope to see him succeed at the Asian Games and beyond.