Rehana Reya, representing FMSCI, recently made the city proud by participating in the Asia Cup of Road Racing 2017 held at Thailand (Round 1) and in Taiwan (Round 2), along with Kalyani Potekar from Madhya Pradesh. Overall, team India secured third place in the competition. In a chat with us, Chennai-based Rehana opens up about her adventurous and challenging journey.
“My brother is also a motorcycle racer and I used to visit the tracks where he used to compete. He also used to bring a lot of trophies to our house and I was really inspired by his accomplishments. So, I got this urge to achieve something big — but racing wasn’t really my preference back then,” Rehana starts the conversation.
So what made her take up racing seriously? Rehana explains, “During my first year in college, I was just riding on the roads and streets. I later came to know that Honda was giving an opportunity to women riders to get trained professionally. I grabbed the opportunity and to be frank, I was very good from the beginning itself.”
She also goes on to say that her family initially didn’t know that she was into racing. “Neither my parents, nor my brothers knew about it — I was really scared to tell them! Finally, one day when I went for training, I was told that there was an inaugural racing in Honda — for the first time, they had organised a race for women. I participated and won the race. Only after this event, I told my parents that I was getting trained to become a bike racer; they were surprised, but have been very supportive since then!”
Among all her accomplishments, Rehana states that being the national champion gives her the most satisfaction. She adds, “Apart from that, my current participation in the Asia Cup of Road Racing 2017 was a huge learning experience. I clearly understood where I stood compared to racers from other countries and I am more pumped up to compete on the international stage now.”
The BBM graduate is also happy that the scenario for women’s racing is slowly starting to change for good. “After Honda conducted the first ever women’s tournament, they were surprised with the response it garnered. I think from then on, women racers have been getting better opportunities. So, hopefully, good days ahead,” she muses.
On a concluding note, she speaks about her aspirations for the future. “As I said earlier, I want to make a mark at the international level. And I have to keep winning as much as I can — that’s all I want for now,” she asserts and takes leave....