Little did Divya know that she was always destined to be an athlete and break milestones along her journey. Having endured struggles and hardships early in life, it paved a way for her for something grander.
Having taken up the sport of swimming at the age of 10, Divya developed an instant liking for the sport. It was in 2017, at the Senior National Aquatic Championship, that she shattered the Indian record in the 50m butterfly event by clocking 28.64 seconds and bagged a gold and a silver in the 100m butterfly. She owes her success to her parents and her coach.
In 2018, she narrowly missed the opportunity to qualify for the Asian Games. She did not let this disappointment get in her way. Her love for swimming is more a fairy tale. In the same year, she came back strong to win a gold and silver at senior National Championship in 50m butterfly and 100m Butterfly respectively. But 2019 was the best year for her. She finally got the opportunity to represent India - “A Dream come true moment!” She bagged two gold medals at the Senior Nationals by breaking her own record again with the timing of 28.33s and enroute qualifying for the Asian Championship.
Wearing the Indian jersey and holding the Indian flag was always the ultimate dream for Divya. The great dream of representing her country was now a reality. For the first time she had no room for pressure as she was excited to represent India. At the 10th Asian Age Group Swimming Championship she ended up winning 3 silver and a bronze. Participating at the Asian Championship taught her to enjoy the moment and trust her preparations.
With some good performances at the Asian championship, the feeling of tricolour being unfurled and the national Anthem being played in front of her was pending for Divya. She was lucky enough to get another chance to represent India at the South Asian Games. In the games, she achieved ‘Golden’ performance by winning 4 Gold medals creating a new Indian Record in all 4 events. The satisfaction of watching the national flag being unfurled with ‘Jana Gana Mana ..’ being played in the backdrop was a moment to behold and brought tears in her eyes.
The path to a record-breaking journey was not an easy one for Divya as she had to juggle many roles and setbacks along the way. Her grit and determination to represent her Country at the highest level keeps her motivated and pushing. She finds joy in disappointments and converting them into milestones gives her ultimate satisfaction. According to Divya, one needs to keep working hard and keep striving along with perseverance to achieve the unthinkable. She fondly remembers her father saying - “those who come first need to work harder than others.”
Divya is currently training under Dronacharya award winning coach Nihar Ameen at the Dravid-Padukone center for excellence in Bangalore. She was part of the national camp held in the month of February and March. She participated in the Karnataka state championship held in Bangalore with some good results. She is now expecting her call for the Olympic qualifiers to be held in Uzbekistan in the month of April.
Simply Sport Foundation is supporting Divya in the areas of Nutrition, Mental Health, Equipment and provision of stipend to cover her expenses. To come forward and support Divya, to be a part of her journey and to see her represent India, contact us. We will be happy to hear from you.