Hyderabad: Eighteen-year-old Budda Aruna Reddy is like any other teenager, except for the fact that the city girl is ranked No. 2 amongst gymnasts from all over India.
Aruna, who will also represent the country at the 2014 Commonwealth Games that will be held in the UK shortly, says, “I had started learning karate when I was five, it went on till I turned eight. That’s when my karate master realised that my body was flexible and he got me into gymnastics.”
The B.Com student from St. Mary’s College, Yousufguda, is currently back home after a five-month Commonwealth Games training camp in Delhi. “I wanted to be part of the Commonwealth Games in 2010, I had even qualified, but because I was underage (14), I couldn’t take part. Right after that I started training for the next Commonwealth Games.”
Aruna is the only girl from the state on the national team comprising four other girls and five boys from around the country. Talking about her practice sessions, she says, “Ideally a gymnast requires at least six hours of practice daily. But because of college I get to practice only three hours.”
Aruna will leave for the Commonwealth Games on July 23 and is confident about her performance. “The American team is good. But we are confident that we will give our best,” says Aruna, who is thankful for a supportive family and college.
So what does she plan to do in the future? “The sad thing about this sport is that once you cross 23-24, it becomes difficult to do gymnastics. The body doesn’t remain as flexible. A gymnast’s career is short. That’s why I want to make the most out of things before I turn 23.”