VASCO: Goan Ace Windsurfer Katya Coelho returned to Goa late Monday night after winning Gold in the recently held Asian Games qualifiers.
Her brother Dayne Coelho won a silver medal, and Father Donald Coelho, their Coach, also arrived at the Goa Airport in Dabolim.
The windsurfers duo will participate in the upcoming Asian Games in China in September 2023.
Katya Coelho becomes the only Girl representing the field of Windsurfing at the Asian Games on two consecutive occasions.
Speaking to reporters, Katya Coelho said that the Asian games trial was held in Mumbai.
“I won the Gold, and it has been an excellent experience for me, and I learned a lot about sailing because this was the toughest one we sailed at over 20 knots speed. It was a very challenging one for me, and we will now participate at the Asian games in September in China, and I will be the only Indian woman to participate in Windsurfing for the second time in a row,” said Katya Coelho.
Her brother Dwayne Coelho who won a silver medal said that the place where races were conducted for the qualifiers was improper, with garbage in the water.
“We also had some unfortunate incidents, but my journey has been exciting. I had won the trials in 2022, but with the Asian games being postponed amidst the pandemic, the trials had to be taken all over again. I missed the first event because I got dengue just two days prior, and I did not have enough time to get well-trained for these trials. I have received a grant from the Government earlier in the field of Excellence of sports besides some cash rewards that had been pending from 2011,” said Dwayne Coelho.
Katya’s Father, Donald Coelho, who is also their coach, said that the Government must come forward to promote Windsurfing as a sport, especially since Goa has all the resources, including a long coastline and the seas available for training.
“I am happy and disappointed at the same time because both had won the selection trial earlier in the RSX class, which was the toughest in the Olympics. However, the RSX class has been dissolved, and IQ Foli has been introduced; we now have to target the Asian Games and Olympics as well. We want to achieve for the state and the country in the field of Windsurfing, especially since I also represented India in Italy in 2004, where I saw the young generation from the age limit of 4 years introduced to Windsurfing,” said Donald Coelho
Donald Coelho said that ever since, he wanted to promote Windsurfing because Goa had a beautiful coastline and many people from the fishermen community that know about the seas and the weather besides having a natural talent.
“In 2009, I started an academy as well, but I was disappointed that we dint get the required support. Michael Lobo had taken us to Former CM Late Manohar Parrikar, who went ahead and got my son Dwayne the grants under the Excellence of sports scheme. Late Parrikar had also assured us of all the support and come out with a scheme, and though he started the plans for the scheme, he is no more,” said Donald Coelho.
Donald Coelho said that Windsurfing was a costly sport,
“The sport is so expensive that equipment and coaching in Europe could cost as much as paying coaches 600 Euros per day. It becomes difficult to survive, and we need strong psychology to survive and Excel in any form of sport. We need the right equipment to set goals, but if your equipment is not right, your mind is disturbed, and your focus is not right, which is not good for any athlete. We would love the Government, especially the CM Dr Pramod Sawant, to look into our progress and get us the right training because we have seven months in hand before we leave for the Asian Games. We have reached so far, and we expect the Government to come out is support us, especially because we are going for the second time to the Asian Games, and Katya Coelho is the first Indian Girl to be representing India at the Asian Games for the second time in a row,” said Donald Coelho.
Father and Coach Donald Coelho says Government must come forward to help Goan Athletes who will represent India at the international level.