From Local Pools to the World Stage: An Interview with Swimming Sensation Aneesh Gowda

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Meet Aneesh Gowda, a supremly talented Indian national swimmer who has made significant strides in the world of competitive swimming. In a very quick time, he has garnered attention for his exceptional skills and determination in the pool. With a passion for the sport from a young age, Aneesh has achieved remarkable feats, setting new records and winning numerous accolades at both national and international levels. As he continues to make waves in the sport, Aneesh Gowda is undoubtedly one to watch for future swimming championships and events.

Aneesh’s journey to success in swimming can be attributed, in part, to his rigorous training at the renowned Basavangudi Aquatic Center in Bangalore. This prestigious training facility has been a nurturing ground for numerous talented swimmers, and Aneesh is no exception. The training regime at Basavangudi Aquatic Center is known for its intensity and discipline, pushing athletes to their limits and fostering a competitive spirit. The center’s supportive atmosphere and camaraderie among fellow swimmers further fueled Aneesh’s motivation to excel.

Lets hear more from Aneesh in this exclusive interview with the man himself and know more about his journey to the pool.

How did you get started in swimming, and what inspired you to pursue it at a competitive level? Can you tell us a bit about your family and your bonding with them?

Growing up my mom wanted me to indulge in sports along with my studies for my holistic development. I tried a few of them but eventually realized that I had a strong suit in swimming. Slowly got better with more swimming. Moving ahead I started taking part in tournaments and winning them gradually. 

My parents are education entrepreneurs and run their own school, Mount Litera Zee School in Bangalore & my younger brother is pursuing science and is preparing to become a doctor. 

My dad has a deep-rooted passion for sports and also is the Vice President of Karnataka Swimming Association. I share a very close and affectionate relationship with my parents. They have been my pillar of strength throughout my journey and without them I wouldn’t have been able to reach where I am today. 

My coaches and my family have all been of immense support to me who showed unwavering belief in me and constantly pushed me to achieve better and grow. 

You are pursuing undergraduate law at the same time. What made you decide to pursue law? What fueled this decision?

Hailing from a family of lawyers, my passion for the discipline was always there and that made me pursue it as my undergraduate program. The more I read about law, the more my interest grew. I believe law has a broad spectrum which helps you pick up fast on the theories and concepts. 

Though I was unable to attend classes during my competitions, I tried to be attentive during the rest of the year and learn as much as possible which helped me clear the exams. Moreover, whenever I have spare time I do read which enables me to balance my studies with my passion for swimming. 

Competing at the national level requires immense dedication. How has your motivation for the sport evolved over the years and how do you stay focused in your training routine?

I indulged in the sport at the age of 4, and at that time I wasn’t really fond of it. Gradually I developed a passion for it over the years. It became a part of me slowly and I started enjoying the sport. As I moved ahead I got better at it and started performing at national level. 

Once I reached that stage, my motivation and determination for the sport grew stronger and helped me to stay focussed and focus on my goals accordingly. My small victories fueled my desire to achieve larger goals in the sport which kept me going. 

Any role models? If yes, what qualities of them inspire you in your swimming journey? Has it influenced your swimming, training and the overall competitive mindset?

Michael Phelps and Ian Thorpe are two of my biggest role models. I look forward to following in their footsteps and making a mark for myself in this industry. 

The technical part of my training is taken care of by our coaches and it helps with their right suggestions and feedback. 

Though I believe watching their videos and work over the years with sheer determination and dedication is something that has inspired me to inculcate the same discipline and maintain consistency in order to excel.  

So I have observed that you mostly go for long distance swimming. 

I can do anything from 100m to 1500m. I prefer midway to long distances as I believe it is more suited to my body type and endurance. I am not very strong and bulky for shorter distances as of now. 

Moreover since a young age my coaches suggested to me that I was better suited for long distances which was another reason for choosing it. In fact I am able to sustain longer workouts as compared to others which was another reason my coaches suggested me for it. 

This year I will be performing butterfly as well as freestyle. Butterfly will be 200m and freestyle will be 200m and above. 

So, what’s the right strategy for long distance swimming? 

Shorter events like 50m and 100m are quite challenging than the long distance race, where even a 0.1 second difference has a huge significance. 

But in long distance events, one needs to hold a certain pace and master the art and keep building on the pace. One can go medium pace, fast Or maintain the same pace throughout the event. In fact, one cannot go too fast initially as they will lose the energy and strength to come back with the same zeal and pace. 

Only thing to take care of is how to remain steady throughout the laps and train our body accordingly. These are some of the key strategies you have to keep in mind specifically in long distance events. 

Aneesh, you’ve achieved remarkable success as a swimmer. Can you share some of your most notable records and achievements so far?

Last year, I participated in Khelo India Youth Games where I secured 6 gold medals.After that I participated in the Singapore National Championships, where I got 4 gold and 1 silver medals. This year, I got qualified for the Asian Games in Senior Nationals. Besides these I am also participating in the World University Games in China which is scheduled next week.

Hailing from India, it can be a big challenge to adapt to the food, culture and stay in China. How do you adapt to it? 

Since it’s a World University Games all the arrangements will be done by them. I am keen on exploring different food and cultures which is essential for my overall growth. I will also be carrying some homemade food along with me, so I don’t face many issues there.

Do you have any cheat meals as well? Any other hobbies apart from swimming?

I mostly go by my nutritionist suggestions, and my mother on my go-to meals everyday. It’s basically home cooked meals which I think are the best and quite balanced. 

I also have cheat meals once a week but try to avoid overdoing it. Love eating kebabs and biryani made at home. 

As for my hobbies, watching Formula 1 on Saturdays, playing video games with cousins and hanging out during free times. Sometimes I like to binge watch movies and shows on Netflix. I am watching Lincoln Lawyer at the moment and looking forward to watching Openheimer and Mission Impossible. 

Walk us through your everyday schedule. As a competitive swimmer, how do you balance your training schedule with other aspects of life?

I train in Basavanagudi Aquatic Center in Bangalore. I have 8 to 10 sessions of swimming every week and 3 sessions of gym. I wake up early and start my day with swimming. After I am back from college, I will go for another session of swimming. During my college days, I take two sessions off to go to the gym. 

Moreover, Wednesdays and Saturdays we are completely off and I prefer going Gym on those days. But during competitions I focus mostly on swimming and my college studies. 

Aneesh, as an accomplished swimmer and role model, what message would you like to give to the viewers who look up to you and follow you? Your journey in swimming can motivate and encourage young kids to pursue their own passions and dreams.

I feel that one needs to love the thing they do and should have a goal they intend to strive for. There will always be tough times when you would want to give up on your dreams, but staying persistent and determined is the key to get the best outcome for yourself. You will be satisfied with your achievements even if it takes a longer time to get to your goals. 

CynergySports wishes Aneesh Gowda, a safe health & a great 2023. Onwards & Upwards…!! We thank him for his time & his support to the community.

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