Ananya Raju - making waves in the junior gymnastics circuit | Aga Khan Academies

Ananya Raju - making waves in the junior gymnastics circuit

Ananya Raju, currently in grade 3 of the Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad Junior School, is already making waves in the local gymnastics scene in Hyderabad. In the last two years, she has collected medals at two city competitions. The first took place in September 2017 at Green Gables School in Madhapur, where about 30 children under the age of seven participated. Ananya won a bronze medal for the balancing beam routine. In October 2018, at an inter-school competition hosted at LB Stadium, Ananya was awarded three gold medals for the balancing beam, bars and vault exercises, and a bronze for the “on-floor” movements. She was one of about 35 participants, all under the age of eight years old.  

Ananya undergoes professional training at the Pullala Gopichand Academy in Gachibowli, three times a week in group sessions and for personal classes on the weekend. “I was never inclined towards her getting into gymnastics,” says her mother, Padmini Raju. “One day, she learnt how to do a cartwheel from her friend and there was no turning back. Her inspiration was Simone Biles. Seeing the passion she has for gymnastics, our family and her coach started supporting her. Like Dipa Karmakar and Aruna Reddy, she dreams of representing India internationally and plans to compete at a national level in 2020.”

Her achievements have been lauded amongst other students in the Junior School, some of whom have approached her to teach them some skills. She also performed some routines at the annual Junior School musical, Change Makers, which her mother believes has further increased her confidence.

Apart from gymnastics, Ananya enjoys playing basketball, swimming, horse riding and playing the violin. She is an ardent animal lover and spends her free time at the Blue Cross animal rescue centre with her father. Whenever she sees street dogs, she feeds them and plays with them, and one day dreams of building an animal orphanage for strays. Hand in hand with this is her predilection for environmental sustainability. She actively avoids using things that are harmful to the environment and talks to people about not using plastic, not burning firecrackers and segregating garbage.

Ananya, who joined the Academy in August 2018, is an inspirational child with a profoundly promising future. AKA Hyderabad is proud to have her and hopes to always be a part of her successes and joys.