CHENNAI: MOP Vaishnav College for Women is one of the ideal places for girls to excel in sports and studies. The college creates an environment for students to shine in their chosen vocation and also come out with flying colours in various sports disciplines too. The college’s team won the University of Madras A Zone tennis and hockey championship.
“I am really pleased with the performance of the girls in both tennis and hockey in the matches organised by University of Madras. The girls have been showing good interest in tennis. With the women’s WTA Chennai Open held recently, more girls are interested in tennis. But I am more happy with the win of our college girls in hockey which is a tough sport and highly competitive,” said A Amutha Suman Kumar, director of physical education of the college.
About six girls — Lavanyaa, Charanya, Sai Diya, Ananya SR, Abinaya Caitlyn and Afsha Ahmed — play tennis with great interest in the college. Most of them have done well in the age-group events and have even taken part in the ITF and TNTA tournaments.
“Although the six girls may be training at different centres, when they play for the college they play as a unit and thus they are able to gel and shine for the college. Lavanyaa, Charanya, Sai Diya train at Rohan Bopanna Tennis Academy, Bengaluru. Ananya SR and Abinaya Caitlyn train at MM Academy, while Afsha Ahmed trains at Anna University. Our strength is teamwork and this was visible in the way they played this year,” informed Amutha.
The girls train for four hours at a stretch whenever they are at the academy. Balachandran, Sharath Raju, Rajiv Naidu and Suresh Kumar are some of the reputed and experienced coaches who help the students play to their potential.
Ananya recently won Fenesta national doubles under-18 event which was held at Delhi and was also runner-up in national series under-18 held at Chennai. Meanwhile, Lavanya represented Tamil Nadu in Khelo India Youth Games in 2020 in doubles in the Under- 21 category. She has also won the AITA tournament in the Under-18 girls title in the past and has been runner-up in both singles and doubles in several AITA under-18 events. The college has supported and encouraged these girls by giving scholarships.
In hockey, MOP Vaishnav boasts having seven players in the state women’s team. The players train at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Hockey Stadium, Egmore, with NIS qualified coach A Sheeba Dhanu, who is also hockey coach of MOP Vaishnav College.
“Senthamarai Mathana is our captain. She is a senior player who guides and leads the team from the front. The girls undergo fitness training and hockey drills with Sheeba at the Hockey stadium. They play practice matches with school and college boys hockey teams which helps them polish their skills-sets and prepares them from the grind of the season,” signed off Amutha.