Do you remember what you used to do when you were seven? Maybe studying in a school, going for extra piano classes or playing with your friends on evening football rounds. But, had you ever thought of competing in an international marathon, setting records or having six-pack abs? No? Then you must be wondering that who does that at such a tender age. Meet Pooja Bishnoi - an 8YO athletic angel of India who has set running records and has built her six-pack abs, being the youngest girl of India to do so. This small and cute athletic angel of India lives in a small village Guda Bishnoiyan of Jodhpur in Rajasthan along with her father Ashok Bishnoi who is a farmer, mother Mima Devi, a homemaker, and a younger brother Kuldeep. Pooja is currently being supported by the Virat Kohli Foundation and training for her dreams with her source of inspiration; her maternal uncle and coach - Sarwan Budiya. Pooja has a single vision and aim of life- to become an Olympic Champion; for which she trains hard along with her coach and shares her experiences and dreams while having an interesting interview with Sportsmatik.com. Want to know about this gritty girl? Here you go….
You have the title of Asia’s first little girl with 6 Pack Abs. How do you feel about that?
I feel very proud and content to achieve such a feat at the age of seven. I have really worked hard along with my coach to achieve the title. I give all the credits to my coach.
You created a record at Jodhpur Marathon. How did you train for that?
Yes, my Coach and maternal Uncle Sarwan Budiya trained me hard to compete at the event, and we both were expecting a good result, and I covered 10 km in 48 minutes which is a record. I want to win a gold medal in the 2024 Olympics for my nation and make everyone proud with my performance. This is what I think day and night.
What are your hobbies?
Umm, I love my sports actually and the rest of my time is spent on my studies.
How do you feel missing out on activities with friends due to training sessions?
No, I hardly get time with my friends because I mostly spend all my time with my best friend –the athletic track. I live in a small village Guda Bishnoiyan, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, and studying in 3rd standard in Shiv Shakti UPS School and all my classmates consider me as the next Olympic Champion.
Who is your role model to pursue a career in sports?
My role model is my Mamaji who is my Coach as well.
What is your daily routine to practice sports and studies together?
I woke up early at 3 AM and practice till 7 AM after which I go to my school and study there till 2 PM. Then again I start my practice from 4 PM which usually ends up to 8 PM. This is all that I do daily. I don’t take any tuitions or extra classes. I study by myself.
Do you watch TV and movies? Who is your favourite hero?
No, I don’t watch TV much, but my favourite hero is Sahil Khan who is a fitness Icon.
Do your parents like your performances?
Yes, my parents support me to pursue my passion for sports and even guide me to do my best at each competition that I participate. They want me to be successful in my life, and I am lucky to have them. I have a brother Kuldeep who is 4 YO. He is also training hard like me to pursue a career in sports, and we both are trying to make our family proud. With all my achievement, I’m enjoying the respect and appreciations given by society, being a small girl of Jodhpur.
Your brother Kuldeep is also doing very well in athletics, who is better?
Although both of us are quite well in athletics and he is a tough competition on the field in spite of being younger than me. But most of the time, I win.
What are your plans? Are you going to pursue a career in sports or something else?
My sport is my passion and I am training hard for my dreams to become an international athlete. My coach is also sweating hard along with me for a single dream which is to make me the next world champion. Right now, only athletics is in my mind, and it’s my only passion.
When did it all start?
The feeling and inspiration which I instil in these kids came from their mother who is my elder sister. She wanted me to become an international athlete and used to encourage and support me a lot to go on practices, but in lack of proper guidance and other social aspects, my dreams left unfulfilled. But she gave me a new hope through her children and I decided to make them what I once wanted to be. As we all know that talent is respected everywhere, and these kids can understand this fact. So I give all my effort to encourage them for their aim. And, it’s good to see that other kids are also seeking inspiration from them.
Do you train other athletes also?
Actually, I have been an athlete of Sports Authority of India (SAI) and if you’re having the identity card of SAI, then you are counted amongst the best athletes of the nation. To get trained there is a big thing for an Indian athlete. I wanted to fulfil my dreams through Pooja and Kuldeep. I switched my career as a coach and right now training many students in my village for free who can’t afford fees. Besides this, I also train some city kids, and some of them are performing at the national level too.
Where do you look Pooja in the coming ten years?
I want Pooja to become the inspiration of India so that every pursuing athlete have her as his/her ideal and say “I want to be like Pooja!” That’s what I dream of and toil day and night for my girl to make this dream come true one day. In the coming days, Pooja will be counted amongst the best athletes of the world. India was once regarded as “Sone ki Chidiya” and I hope that Pooja’s achievements and efforts may bring back that title to the nation just the way Usain Bolt has created history and scripted a legend. I am expecting the same or you can say even better from her because I have seen that spark in Pooja and hence, encouraging her for what she deserves.
Pooja Bishnoi is now a part of Sportsmatik.com, Checkout her profile at the link given below-