Chennai: Sekar Pachai (31), a surf athlete from Chennai, is all set to participate in the Palkbay National Stand-up Paddling Championships 2022 in Rameswaram on April 28 and 29.
The competition aims to promote the sport of Stand-Up Paddling (SUP), which is supported and promoted by the Tamil Nadu Tourism department.
This resident of Kovalam has won gold in all 17 national level championships he participated in, and one gold & silver in the international SUP championships that was held in Switzerland and Thailand. He is ranked 18th in surfing globally.
“I’ll be taking part in all 3 categories — Sprint (200m), Technical (2 km) and Long Distance (12 km). Participating in this championship will give me an opportunity at the international level,” said Sekar. “Through this championship, I’m hoping to create awareness about this sport in the state.”
Jehan Driver, general secretary, Surfing Federation of India, concurs, and adds that despite lack of awareness in India, SUP is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. “There’s a lot of talent amongst the youth in coastal India. Besides the competitive side, SUP plays an important part in promoting sports tourism and Tamil Nadu tourism,” he points out.