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Harshita Tater talks to Narayan Thakur & Jeleen Roberts to boost mental strength

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Introduction

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Harshita Tater is one of the country’s most promising Para-athletes. She is a sprinter in the T-35/37 category. Having represented her state Karnataka in the National Para-Athletics Championship, the 22-year-old girl drew the attention of India’s sports fraternity last year by winning a gold medal in 400 meters and a bronze medal in 200 meters. Her winning streak continued when she hogged the limelight again by winning a gold medal in the 400 meters and a silver medal in the 200 meters. In her 400-meter golden run, Harshita also broke the national record over nine seconds, clocking 92.9 seconds. Harshita also won a gold medal in the 400 meters at the national championship organized by CPSFI.

Harshita Tater & her difficult childhood

Harshita Tater was diagnosed with a severe disease when she was only six months old. Her right side was plagued by spastic hemiparesis after she suffered a serious head injury. She had to undergo five major surgeries and rehabilitation for 14 long years. During this period Harshita had to undergo multiple procedures which helped her reduce her pain and recover from her disability.

Entrance of Athletics

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One of Harshita’s multiple procedures to help with her disability and suffering was to choose athletics, especially running. After winning a gold medal in the National Championship last year, Harshita who was a medical student at Bangalore Medical College left her study and started pursuing athletics and joined sprint coach Gurkaran Singh in New Delhi.

Harshita said,

“It was difficult for me to go weightlifting. I could not take my weight as my right leg was weak. So, the doctor advised me to opt for running. I took part in state athletics in March last year and took up sprinting seriously in June. After winning the gold medal in the national championship last year I left Bangalore and started living in New Delhi to train under the tutelage of Gurkaran Singh.”

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The inspiration from other famous athletes

Harshita’s motivational effort sounds quite interesting. Along with the continuous encouragement from her coach Gurkaran Singh, Harshita has also talked to several renowned Para-athletes across the World and all of them have given her inspiration. Harshita said,

“My coach always boosts me. Along with him, I have received a huge amount of encouragement from renowned athlete Narayan Thakur, and famous USA athlete Jeleen Roberts. She is a fine person and always offers support. All these inspirations are my treasure. I remember their words every time and it helps me to motivate myself.”

Harshita is now focusing on Asian Games next year and the Paralympics in Paris in 2024.

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The Financial Obscurity

Harshita’s father runs a small electric shop. She has two sisters and a mother in her family. She knows her timing will gain a big boost if she can take part in international competitions. But financial distress has been her biggest obstruction. Harshita lamented,

“The expenditure for me including my living in Delhi, training, dietitian, and physiotherapy is extremely high. Besides, if I try to go abroad for training and competitions then I will reach beyond my capacity. So far, one group named Aspire Circle had come forward, providing Rs 1 lakh for me. But that was not enough. Naturally, I need financial support badly.” 


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