After a scintillating runner-up finish at the BOSM swimming event in 100m butterfly, Joy Parikh is a delighted man. Basking in one of the finest seasons, the youngster made quite a splash in the pool as he also clinched another two second-place and a third-place finish in 4x50m Freestyle Relay, 4x50m Medley (mixed) and 4x50m medley event respectively.
Having found his passion at the tender age of 11 prompted him to pursue swimming as a sport. The continuous exposure to competition coupled with his hard work ultimately propelled him to the national level and now the BITS Pilani’s boy has indeed has made the headlines on the national swimming circuit with his remarkable performance in the 100m butterfly.
Riding that winning wave, Parikh is positive about making an impact in this chunk of the year too. Having reached the better mark in the swimming event this year, the youngster wants to go a step further.
In the interview, Parikh spoke about his passions, swimming, and some of the biggest experiences in his young life so far
Tell us a little about your life, background and how did you get into swimming?
I had always been better than the rest at swimming, this made me participate in competitions and the thrill of winning and glory of success has kept me hooked to this sport.
When did you start taking swimming seriously and who played an important role in helping you realise your potential?
I had a bad season when I was in 8th standard and did not win a single event during that time. This made me realise how much I need to work and improve myself.
On a personal front, my parents have been my biggest source of motivation without a doubt. But professionally, my coaches also are the main reason for whatever I have achieved in the pool till now. They motivate me and push me to the limit.
Where do you train and where do you consider to be home?
Currently, I train in the pool of BITS, Pilani, but earlier I trained in my home state of Gujarat.
How much training do you do in any day?
Roughly an hour to an hour and a half.
In India, not a lot of people know swimming and it is a rare sport for people to participate in. Talk a little about the difficulties you faced?
Poor cleaning facilities often got me sick, and lack of swimming pools was a big difficulty as I had to travel a lot just for practice. Other than that no proper coach available and the disinterest of the general public have also been huge barriers.
How is the competition level in college tournaments?
Quite good as some colleges have people selected specifically on sports quota and they provide a very good level of competition.
What is the level of support you have got from college?
Two full-time coaches, many supplements like water fins and hand paddles have been a huge help in practice.
What’s your trick to deal with anxiety and stress – especially before a big competition?
I usually stretch out and take deep breaths to relieve stress and anxiety.
Are there any career highlights you are particularly proud of?
I have participated in the national level competitions.
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