Keen on learning many sports since childhood, she took part in all the sports activities during school days until she met her mentor Late Raju Patil sir who asked her to concentrate mainly on Athletics. She now was having a focus of becoming an athlete and began to run towards her goal. Meet Sheetal Kolhapure from Belagavi, the winner of many State, National and International awards in Athletics.
However, destiny had something else in planning for Sheetal. Due to some distressed conditions at home, she had to shift her focus from running on tracks to running her house. Soon she got married and had to take care of the new responsibilities. Within years she became a mother of two and few more responsibilities were added to the list. As she couldn’t complete her education in the mainstream, a well-paid job was a distant dream.
To help her life partner financially, she started working as a Physical Education Teacher in one of the private schools. The pay scale offered here was sufficient only to bear their daily expenses but she had to continue working for the sake of the children.
One day, Sheetal decided to race with her own destiny. The spirit for Athletics and the hunger to bring a medal to our country made her restless. Someone said to her “Once a mother, the Athlete in you dies” and this was taunting her soul every moment. She decided to rise up and follow her dream. The making of ‘Sheetal Kolhapure the Athlete’ thus started.
Running back on the tracks was not a cake walk (cake run actually). A huge body transformation was needed especially after being a mother twice. She doubled her workouts and practice and very soon was able to run again on the tracks with maximum speed. She was ready for the competition and received medals at the state level.
At the same time, destiny also was not far behind. Financial conditions started worsening as expenses increased due to training, traveling and diet foods. She managed from her own pockets initially but a stage came when she was left with no option than to appeal for help. The appeal was posted on many social media platforms and many came forward to help the budding sports lady from Belagavi.
Finally, she won the race with her own Destiny winning a number of awards and medals at national and International level. Below is the list:
• Best Athlete title for the Outstanding Performance in 33rd SLTA annual Mercantile Athletic Meet, SriLanka 2016.
• Individual Gold Medal in 200m, 400m, 800m event in 33rd SLT Annual Mercantile Athletic Meet, SriLanka 2016.
• Individual Gold Medal in 800m, 1500m event in World Masters Games, New Zealand 2017.
• Individual Bronze Medal in 400m event in World Masters Games, New Zealand 2017.
• Individual Gold Medal in 400m, 800m, 1500m. Gold Medal in 4×100 & 4×400 Relay and silver medal in 200m in ASIA PACIFIC MASTERS GAMES PENANG 2018.
• Individual Gold Medal in 200m,400m and 800m event in 36th National Masters Athletic Championship, Lucknow 2016
• Individual Gold medal in400m & 800m event in37th National Masters Athletic Championship, Nashik 2017
• Individual Gold Medal in 400m, 800m event in Open National Masters Athletic Championship, Mangalore 2017 & many more National and State Level Medals.
Even after getting so many medals, Sheetal still says one more. A hunger for one more gold medal for the country. She will be heading to Italy in July to participate at the European Master Games 2019. We wish her all the best.