Our Swimming Champions – Rohan Mahesh & Yash Prakash
From the highest parts of Kashmir to the southern-most tip of the country, BYJU’S- The Learning App has spread to the remotest corners of the country. Despite their different passions, cultures, languages,family backgrounds, economic status- the one thing that unites millions of students across the country is the love for learning instilled by the BYJU’S App.
During our journey across the country – on the lookout for the most inspiring student stories, we came across two young boys from the state of Kerala. Both from very different family backgrounds and grades, each having his own specialty in academics and favourite hobbies, but harbouring a common dream.
A hyper-energetic and adventurous 5th grader from Kendriya Vidyalaya, Rohan started his sports saga at the young age of seven, juggling basketball, swimming and kabaddi at the same time. Following in the footsteps of his father, Mr. Mahesh, who is a sports instructor and was a national level basketball and volleyball player in his younger years; Rohan went on to favour basketball and swimming, practicing diligently for the coming years. His advantageous height and body-type made him a natural at swimming and so as most stories go on – apart from his studies, he devoted all of his free time to swimming practices.
Around The Clock Schedule
- Number of Days – 6 days in a week
- 5:00 AM to 8:00 AM – Swimming Practice
- 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM – School
- 4:00PM to 7:00PM – Swimming Practice
- 7:00PM to 8:00PM – Learning from the BYJU’S app
Following a regimented diet, and a speed testing every month – Rohan and his father have worked on a fixed swimming routine and practice schedule to perfect his swimming. Like his idol – Ryan Murphy, Rohan specializes in the Backstroke, which is one of the tougher strokes in individual competitions.
“ Along with backstroke, I regularly practice the usual freestyle, breaststroke and butterfly stroke, as well. I however, did not want my speciality to be something which most other swimmers preferred. The competition gets smaller if you choose a more challenging style and perfect that, and that’s how I decided to make Backstroke my forte.”
Rohan recently participated at the nationals in Delhi and was among the youngest participants in the competition. He dreams of becoming one of the world’s greatest and most competent swimmers so that he can “swim over kilometers and break world records along his way”. What drives him towards his goal is his father’s unending motivation and push towards making Rohan a better version of himself than he was a day before. What he also does not miss out on is his education. The 5th grader also takes up the responsibility of helping his younger sister, who is in her 2nd grade.
A huge fan of visual learning, he sits with the BYJU’S app everyday for an hour after his swimming class, hoisting his sister on the the table beside him and teaching her whatever simplified concepts he learns from the app – Rohan brushes up on his topics, helping his sister learn at the same time. “Textbook learning, and taking down notes from a whiteboard are not enough these days. Competitive examinations are getting tougher, learning standards are getting better and we have more options at our disposal on how we want to learn. I wanted to make the most of it when I saw the BYJU’S advertisement on television – the effects, the cool visuals and the fact that I could learn from a tablet caught my attention instantly and I had to get it!” states an elated Rohan.
A few hundred kilometres away, another young student’s swimming story commenced when he was in his 5th grade. 17 year old Yash Prakash spent his summer vacations as a young boy, loitering with his three cousins, lazing through the lush forests of Kannur. Giving their free days a direction and coaxing them to make better use of their time, a neighbourhood uncle enrolled them to a swimming session in a nearby hotel. After their first few visits, two of Yash’s cousins gave up due to fear of water, but the remaining cousins stayed finally overcoming their fears in a year’s time. Yash continued his swimming classes over the next 5 years, practicing holding his breath underwater, multiple varieties of strokes and styles.
Along with swimming, Yash is a Science enthusiast, hoarding knowledge on everyday facts and complex theorems. Having won a Gold Medal for The Science Olympiad in his 9th grade, Yash dreams of becoming a scientist. When asked what he plans to do after becoming a scientist, Yash states, “Scientists learn about everything around them, known to be the master of their realms of knowledge. I want to learn and teach it to children willing to learn. My mother, Srisha, is a teacher and from her I have learnt the value of knowledge. No knowledge is ever boring or sufficient. There is always more to learn and I want to tap into all that knowledge.”
A lover of games, Yash had never in his wildest dreams, imagined that games could ever be a way of learning. In his younger years, he recalls practicing math additions using drawings and leaves arranged on the mud patch in his garden. His mother would suggest various different elements that would assist with his learning, but not all solutions were found in the world around them. He would carry longstanding doubts and confusions regarding certain topics in math and science because he only learnt them theoretically. Yash’s father, who works in Dubai, was the first person to introduce him to the BYJU’S app which he started using when in his 7th grade. Falling in love with the teaching style and the concept of self-paced learning, Yash soon caught up with the toppers in his class effortlessly. Apart from giving 2 hours in a day to homework and other school projects, Yash gives about an hour to studying from the app, which his mother believes has been enough for him to understand all core concepts.
With varying dreams for the future, and a mutual love for swimming, Yash and Rohan both balance their calibre for sports with their education with self-paced learning. Adding fun to their learning and those of millions of other students like them, BYJU’S has provided these students the platform to learn more effectively, understand concepts from scratch and be curious throughout their lives. We hope their stories move on to inspire other students to follow their dreams and understand that learning need not always be a burden, but a fun gateway to the future.
We would like to thank their mentors Reshma R. and Anakha Dinesh for their constant support and guidance and for instilling in both Rohan and Yash the love for learning, transforming them into life-long learners.
Like this story? Read similar stories on The Learning Tree page.
Ankita Dutta is a STORYWEAVER at BYJU’S. Avid reader and writer by day, a classical singer by night, Harry Potter nerd, a film aficionado, and the classroom joker in her yesteryear. Ankita believes that words can influence to a point where they change personalities and ideologies. Wish to contact her about intriguing debates, writing trends and stories? Drop in a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org