Star India athlete Kavita Raut, winner of the bronze and silver medals in the 10,000 metres race at the Commonwealth and Asian Games 2010, finds herself without a coach and training facilities, barely a year before the Olympic Games 2012.
Kavita, 26, who hails from a tribal family in the Sawarpada village of the Nashik district, is presently employed with the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC).
Belarus coach Nicolai Sensere, who groomed and trained Kavita for the two important championships, is no longer with the Indian team, as his contract expired in November 2010. Sensere, the national athletics team coach since 2006, had raised the standards of Indian women athletes, particularly the middle and long distance runners.
Speaking to DNA in Nashik, Kavita said, “My best performances came because of Sensere. He was sincere and hard working.”
Kavita is practising on a non-professional mud track in Nashik, for the Olympics.
According to Kavita, she needs to practice on a synthetic track with an experienced coach. “What can we do, nobody is paying any attention. We have approached many senior authorities demanding a coach, preferably Sensere, but nobody is paying heed to our requests,” she said.
The sprinter said that Bangalore had all the facilities —a synthetic track, a masseur, a physiotherapist, proper diet control and gymnasium. “We trained as a group and this helped us focus on the job,” Kavita said.
Presently staying with her family in Nashik, Kavita is training at the Bhonsala campus ground under the guidance of her first coach Vijendra Singh.
Singh said, “Though I can coach her, I cannot provide her the right environment here. It is high time she trained systematically. My fear is that this could affect her chances at the Olympics,” he said.
The other problem that Kavita faces when she is at her hometown is the non-stop invitations for felicitations and programmes. “I don’t want people to misunderstand, but I need to focus on my practice,” she said.
It remains to be seen what training Kavita undergoes in the coming crucial days.