Beating Odds, Security Guard’s Daughter Skates Her Way to National Gold
Pune resident Shraddha Gaikwad stumbled upon a skateboard while delivering lunch to her father, who worked as a security guard at a sports store. Here’s how that day transformed into a passion, leading her to win gold at the National Games.
Above images courtesy: Shraddha Gaikwad
Hailing from Pune’s Wagholi town, Shraddha Gaikwad has emerged as a rising star in the world of skateboarding. Recently clinching the gold at the National Games in the skateboarding street category, the 16-year-old’s journey from humble beginnings to national recognition is nothing short of inspiring.
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Originally from Beed, a less developed area in Maharashtra, Shraddha’s family faced hardships that led them to relocate to Pune. Despite the challenges, fate seemed to favour her when she stumbled upon a skateboard at her father’s workplace, Decathlon, where he worked as a security guard.
She would go to the sports store most afternoons to deliver her father’s lunch box. Intrigued with this new equipment, the then 12-year-old began honing her skills with basic training from the store employees. Delivering her father’s lunch followed by training became her new routine.
A turning point came when she met her current coach, Swapnil Magare, during a skateboarding workshop at the store. Impressed by her skills, Magare took her under his wing and started training her regularly.
Despite initial reservations from her family about her involvement in sports, Shraddha’s talent eventually shone through at the Jugaad International Skateboarding Competition in Bengaluru in 2018. Overcoming her initial trepidation and homesickness, she clinched the bronze medal, catapulting her into the limelight and opening doors to the world of advertisements and film.
From starring in TV commercials for renowned brands to securing a role in the 2021 film ‘Skater Girl’, Shraddha’s perseverance and passion for skateboarding have brought her success.
Her recent triumph at the National Games solidifies her determination to continue striving for excellence, with her eyes set on achieving an Olympic medal.
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