Read how Tanvi Jagadish fought society to fulfill her dream.
25 March 2017
“I was just a simple girl going to school, having big dreams of becoming the best top 3 Stand up Paddlers in the world.
I began surfing when I was around 14 years old. I had known about it for a long time, in fact, I was introduced to surfing when I was only 8 years old but since my parents did not support me I couldn’t start surfing then. Being an Indian, what I want to do in my life is tied to so many irrelevant factors such as my gender, my age, my origin. It was really hard to get into surfing being a girl. The family got worried about my tanned skin, society didn’t approve of me wearing shorts or swimsuits and getting into the ocean. Surfing was never considered a sport for girls, sorry, I mean Indian girls.
But I didn’t give up. I strived hard to get into it. I had to fight with my family, I had to fight with society, but in the end, I am happy to say that I made it. After 6 years I finally did start surfing and within two years I have found my passion and I am pursuing it against all odds. It has taken a lot of effort from my side and from my trainers, who spent a lot of time training me and in both surfing and SUP (Stand Up Paddling) and convincing my parents that this could actually work – that a girl could actually surf and it would be totally fine!
I am also sure that there plenty of other girls out there who wish to follow their dreams but do not find the support and encouragement to do so. My dream is to support them, we have many girl surfers in our club now and they have all taken the sport very enthusiastically and have been the pioneers of young surf girls in India.
Since I started surfing and stand up paddling competition, I participated in several national level events. The first competition I went to was in 2015 in Chennai. Since then I have trained hard and have many accolades in my name, including but not limited to:
2015 SUP Nationals Covelong Point Surf Classic – First place
2016 SUP Nationals Manapad Classic surf and sail festival – First Place
2016 SUP Nationals Indian Open of Surfing (Presented by Karnataka Tourism) – First place
2016 Surfing Nationals Indian Open of Surfing – Third place
Had I listened to society back then, I still wouldn’t have known what my passion in life is and would have had to be content just knowing and dreaming about surfing.
Now I am almost getting an opportunity to leave my dreams. Surfing has changed my life so much, it has given me a new voice, strong and pure soul, surfing has given me my dream sport, given me chance to represent Indian is upcoming Stand up Paddling race, and great connection with the Mother Nature.
I love proving yes even we girls can do it. I love following my passion and living life fully, having a pure soul and spreading good vibes”
– Tanvi Jagadish,16 years old girl from Mangaluru, Karnataka