Aneesha Nayak is the 1st Indian to participate at I-FEST, Tunisia and bagged a gold medal for India. She was featured in a documentary by a German team “Chicks on Board”. The documentary starsaround 6 female surfers from 6 different countries. She has added so many feathers of laurels to her wings and continues to add more. Aneesha was one among the 20 Indians and the first 4 female surfers to divulge the talent by representing India at the Asian Surfing Championship 2015.
First surfing event for India?
It was at the Asian Surfing Championship,I was one among the first 20 Indians and the first 4 female surfers to represent India at the Asian level! It was a really great plat form to showcase my talent and to watch and learn from surfers from different countries.
What drives you to go for training everyday?
The Mother ocean. I feel Mother Ocean being all nice and ready to give me those beautiful waves to surf on. Spending time in the water and connecting with the nature is what gets me up and go training everyday
Any rituals you follow
Irrespective of whether it is a match or not, every time I step into the water, I pray and thank Mother Ocean for everything that she has given me and everything that she has yet to give. I give her love and feel love from her. After the session, I give my gratitude to her. I do this by taking some water in my hand, kissing it and then putting it on my head.
If you Could Change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I believe everyone to be good, no matter how many faults they may carry, I always focus on the good. It’s good but at times it’s harmful to self.
What is your practice routine like?
I surf for about 3-4 hours in the morning, then attend classes, then either swim or gym for a couple of hours in the evening.
What’s the first thing you do when you get home from tour?
When I get back from tournament, obviously I would be really tired but I will spend time with my cats, sleep and eat home-cooked food.
What does it mean to you to represent India?
To me, representing India means a lot. Representing the whole country and its citizens is such a pressurized situation to be in but at the same time one of the most beautiful feeling too.
What are the initial hurdles you faced?
Being a girl in the Indian society, it took me a lot to get to where I am right now. Just because I was girl, people were worried and asked me not to surf as it was dangerous and that I would get tanned. They also mentioned that if I ended up having scars on my body, scar on my face, what would happen to my future? By future they clearly meant marriage.
Perks of being an athlete
Being an athlete you get to stay physically fit and your reflexes end up being really good
What are your secret skills?
Well, apart from surfing, I play the guitar. I can cook, I absolutely love cooking. I write poems and prose. I would love to learn the drums soon. I do research as well.
If you could get a tattoo, what would it be?
I have two tattoos, one is a semi-colon and the other is a tattoo of waves.
Best sports movie ever
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is the best sports movie ever. It clearly shows an athlete tackled up all the agonizing obstacles to be a World Champion.
What’s on your bucket list?
I would love to do all the crazy things out there and to travel the World which is the one thing I always wished to do.
“I give my gratitude to mother ocean by taking some water in my hand, kissing it and then putting it on my head”
Your biggest inspiration
The thing with me and inspiration is such that I get inspired by each and every person I meet. Everyone inspires me in their own ways.
My Sports achievements include the following:
I bagged the 3rd place in the Covelong point surf classic 2014 in the National level- open category. I won 3rd and 2nd in Manapad Surf and Sail Classic 2015 for Sea Kayaking and Stand up paddling respectively. Won 3rd Mahabs Surf Classic & in the Covelong point surf classic in 2015. Bagged Grand Gold at INSEF (Indian Science and Engineering Fair) 2015 in the regional level and at INSEF in the National level in 2016. I won Bronze at I-SWEEEP (International Sustainable World Energy Engineering Environment Project Olympiad).