Kshitij Goel-From Shy to Swimming Star of KIS, Noida
Introducing Khishtij, a remarkable individual whose journey from a reserved, introverted young boy to a swimming sensation at Kothari International School is nothing short of inspiring. Khishtij's story is a testament to the transformative power of determination, resilience, and the unwavering support of both mentors and an educational institution that nurtures talent. Join us as we dive into Khishtij's incredible narrative, where he conquers challenges in the pool and beyond, ultimately aiming for national recognition and success
In the midst of the 2012-13 academic session, I embarked on my journey at Kothari International School's pre-school, following a family move from Pune. Back then, I was a shy, introverted boy, and my parents had an ingenious plan to help me break out of my shell – they enrolled me in swimming classes, hoping it would be a gateway to new friendships.
Imagine a young boy, the youngest among a group of seasoned senior boys and girls, joining the school's swimming team. What started as a recreational activity quickly transformed into a passion for competitive sports by 2015. That year marked my debut as part of the school's swim team, and I eagerly participated in numerous inter-school swimming championships, proudly bringing home a handful of medals.
Between 2015 and 2017, Kothari International School's boys' swimming team asserted its dominance in the UP state, consistently clinching individual and overall championships. However, my first experience in the Mandal qualifier for the state championship in 2017 was less than stellar. While my peers qualified for the state championship, I fell short. Yet, this setback ignited a fire within me, propelling me not only to qualify for the state but also to win medals.
I was fortunate to have amazing senior mentors, including Garv, Dhruv, and Shradul. It was through them that I met Manthan, who has become a lifelong friend despite our age difference.
In 2018, under the boys' under-10 category, I secured two silver medals at the state championship. However, the elusive national qualification remained just out of reach since, in UP, only gold medalists earned that honor. I devoted myself to rigorous training throughout the year, but in 2019, a month before the swimming season began, a fractured wrist dashed my hopes once again. Nevertheless, that same year, I managed to win several medals in the CBSE zonal championship.
Then, in 2020, COVID-19 disrupted everything. I found myself out of the pool for nearly 18 agonizing months. For a dedicated swimmer like me, it was a challenging period. Though I couldn't dive into the water, I persevered with daily online strength and conditioning sessions. Unfortunately, this period took a toll on me as I gained weight and struggled with discouragement.
However, within this adversity, I discovered a newfound determination. I shed the excess weight and emerged as the fittest version of myself. Swimming resumed around August 2021, and in quick succession, I received notifications for district and state trials for Nationals. This time, my unwavering dedication paid off, and I finally qualified for Nationals in 2021.
Three consecutive years at the Nationals, competing against the nation's finest, has been an incredible experience. While I haven't yet achieved medal-worthy timings, this year marked my entry into Group 1. With continued effort and support from my teachers, I'm confident that I'll soon bring home a national medal, not just for myself but also for our school.
The year 2023 has been monumental. I kicked it off with an individual championship in the CBSE zonal competition. As I entered the 10th grade, concerns arose about balancing school pressure and swimming. However, Principal Ma'am's unwavering support reassured me and enabled me to perform at my best. I clinched the Noida district championship, earning the title of the best swimmer in the open category. This momentum carried into the state competition, where I once again emerged as the individual champion, this time in the U-17 category for UP.
None of this would have been possible without the unwavering support of Kothari International School. I've proudly represented our school in three Open Nationals and four CBSE Nationals. This journey has been a testament to the power of perseverance and the incredible opportunities that come with being part of this institution.
Written by - Kshitij Goel