I want to represent India at the international level and make our country proud, says ten-year-old Sarah Girach, an inline speed skater. The fifth-grader who has been living in Connecticut, USA for past three years after her father got transferred, has been competing in championships at different regional and national levels. This year she won six national medals at the American Championships held on Jun 14 to 17 in Colorado Springs, CO, USA— two gold, one silver, and three bronze medals.
Sarah’s passion for skating was honed in Pune, where her family previously lived before shifting to USA. “I started skating five years ago in Pune when I was studying in Sai School of Excellence. Skating was part of the school curriculum. I use to train under Rasul Shaikh. After I shifted to USA, I started training under Mike Godin and Chuck Boucher,” says she. Sarah says that she is also supported by the Fast Forward family of coaches Patricia Leazier and Jeff Foster who have coached many Team USA players.
She says that she saw some youngsters skating which got her excited about the sport. “It took me a year to learn and develop speed. I really like skating and am very passionate about it,” she says, adding, “The games makes me unique and it teaches me to be focused, confident, deal with the stress. It also make me physically fit.”
Since she has shifted to USA, Sarah says that she had to deal with tough competition. “The level of competition in Pune wasn’t that tough but here I have to deal with so many people and it’s so hard. Also, they focus on lot of techniques, which helps me become strong and increase my speed,” says the ten-year-old who also does ice skating.
But it’s not an easy task juggling between her passion and studies. But that doesn’t stop her attending her skating classes six days a week. “I come back home from school around 3.30 pm and by 3.40 I leave for my skating classes, which takes me an hour to reach. I train for two hours. I carry my books and while travelling back and froth, I study in the car,” says Sarah, who wants to become a doctor when she grows up.
This year there is a world championship being held in the Netherlands. A few of her USA teammates are participating at the championship and Sarah aspires to go there someday and represent team India.