“Sport, for me, is a way of life. It’s a part of my life. I would say, I was born into sport,” says Anju, the country’s only World Championships medallist in athletics with her long jump bronze in Paris in 2003.
“I was into sport from the time when I was probably three or four and even now, I am living sport. And my wish is that my children should take up sport too, any sport.”
Anju was lucky. Even her husband Robert Bobby George, who was also her coach, has sport in his blood — he is the brother of the late volleyball great Jimmy George.
Bobby frequently talks about stories on Anju in The Hindu and The Sportstar that inspired them when they were young and dreaming big. For Bobby, every training session with Anju was like an experiment during those days.
“Some of the stories about Anju that appeared in The Hindu and Sportstar made us believe in ourselves, made us believe that we had taken the right step,” Bobby had said once. Anju, the former Asian champion and women’s long jump National record holder, said the stories in the country’s top sports magazine Sportstar motivated her in a big way.
“ The Hindu and The Sportstar tracked my career graph very closely, especially after I went to the U.S. for training…every meet was followed very closely. And there were big stories and my picture was on the Sportstar cover too,” said Anju.
“It’s a big thing for a young athlete, it motivates you in a big way, especially since Sportstar comes from The Hindu group.”
(As told to Stan Rayan)
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