A sailor, who overcame fear
A student of class 10 at Nallgutta Govt. High School, East Marredpally, Preeti, of Yacht Club of Hyderabad has crossed a major milestone recently at the Monsoon Regatta.
She makes the city proud by winning the title at national ranking championship.
14-year-old Preeti got into sailing at The Yacht Club of Hyderabad three and a half years ago. She enrolled for training along with so many other friends from similar backgrounds through the Nandi Foundation.
Barely into sailing for three and half years, and she created history at the recently concluded 11th edition of National Ranking Monsoon Regatta and is the first Yacht Club of Hyderabad sailor to win the title.
She lifted two Champion Trophies in Optimist Main Fleet Category. One as overall Trophy Optimist Girls Champion and the other one as Overall Trophy Optimist Champion and Best Sailor Without Discard
"Sailing has happened to me by accident.
I never planned or intended to take up sailing. I was afraid of water. I never liked any water sports before this; and I had no idea of sailing.
My world was just my home, mother, my friends. But, Suheim sir once told me to challenge the fear. 'Whatever you fear the most you must deal with it' he said, and I wanted to see its end at once.
And then I happen to start sailing," Preeti shared about the guidance and inspiration she received from her coach Suheim Sheikh.
The young sailor, who is fond of music also loves to dance. Her life ambition is to become the best sailing champion in the country.
Preeti lives with her mother Vijayalakshmi, who works in a tailor shop to earn her daily wages for a living as she lost her husband.
Despite all these unfavourable economic conditions, Preeti is determined. She always aimed big. "I told myself to sail like a champion. Winning is very important.
Only winning can make a world of difference to my career and subsequently to my family.
I am grateful to all the encouragement and support given by my coach Suhiem Sheikh, Founder of The Yacht Club of Hyderabad. But, for him, I wouldn't have been reached where I am today."
"Sailing is my life, each day when I go on water, I go with a determination that I will do my best. I do the best than the previous performances.
When I get into the water, I don't think about anything else than bettering my best performance. Each win renews my spirit, she adds.
Preeti's mother Vijayalakshmi doesn't know what sailing is about. All she wants for her daughter is a good career and a great future.
For Preeti, balancing studies and sailing practice is a big challenge, but she handles it with a lot of ease. "I practice during mornings, evenings, weekends and whenever I get time.
At the same time whatever the classes I miss in the school I make sure that I cover them up with extra classes and tuitions arranged by our coach," she said.
Holding a National title Preeti now eyes International sailing events, which are likely to be held towards the end of this year or at the beginning of the next year.
She attributes her success to the hard lessons she learnt while sailing. "I have learnt many lessons; each day is a fresh beginning with new conditions.
Water and weather are unpredictable so I should make myself fit in any given situation so that nothing surprises."
Regarding her fear about water she said, "Who said girls are more afraid of water than boys. Who said money can give more opportunities? I am here to prove that if you have talent everything falls in place."
As the Yacht Club Credo goes, "Earning Dignity Through Sports", Preeti undoubtedly earned her dignity through sports.
She is the player to be watched and is expected to to rule the sailing championship of the world soon.