Women have left no stone unturned and the world has ample examples of it. They are leaving their everlasting impression in every single field there is. From young to old, women all across the world are a powerhouse of multiple skills and talents. Two of such passionate and strong girls are Noa Sara Eappen (11-year-old) and Kasha Nia Sachdev (13-year-old) who recently participated in the World Powerlifting Congress India National Championship conducted in Bangalore and achieved gold medals.
These two young powerlifting enthusiasts were able to taste victory after much hard work, endurance, training, and perseverance. Kasha recalls her multiple physical injuries, “I had severe knock knees, I’d trip over my feet when I ran. I couldn’t stand straight on my feet. I had to undergo two corrective surgeries, and one year of total rehab not too long ago. I have also broken my arms thrice due to the knees and constantly falling over. I beat that and I’m stronger now than ever before.”
Noa speaks of the mental challenges she faced when she initially took up the sport. “I had a bit of self-doubt. In the beginning, when there would be heavyweight on the bar, I would tell myself I couldn’t do it even though I could. But over time, I overcame such self-doubts by pushing myself to do little better each passing day.”
Kasha and Noa train for 3 hours 4 days a week. Given the hardcore training, they receive from their coach Mohammed Azmat who is also a world record powerlifter, keeps them agile, strong and on the right path. Their training includes bench press, squat and deadlift among many others. With systematic training comes a diet plan too. Irrespective of their love for food, the two girls strictly stick to their diet and consume more nutrition-rich foods. Kasha and Noa had a unique diet plan, especially for the recent championship. Every food item containing sugar was cut out, junk food was only allowed once in weeks. Consumption of lean protein, good carbs, healthy fats, micros and lots of water was giving more importance. Noa says, “I would weigh my food to ensure at least 100gms of protein was served to me in each meal.”
What is even more commendable about these powerlifters is that while they are responding exceedingly well to their passion, they have also dedicated an equal amount of time towards their education and are also enjoying every bit of it. When asked how they manage to juggle between studies and powerlifting, the two agreed in unison that there wasn’t anything to juggle indeed. They say that proper management of time is key to do pretty much anything. Both the girls manage their studies prior to and post their training hours. They also make time for the rest of the hobbies. While Kasha loves ballet and has been with the Bella Academy for 6 years, Noa is passionate about art. Singing makes both the girls’ hearts happy as both of them are learning to sing under the tutelage of Trinity College.
The sport of powerlifting is unique and not the one that many opt for. Kasha and Noa, however, have their own reasons for making this choice. Noa says, “Initially I started functional training because I wanted some physical activity during the covid pandemic and I really enjoyed training with Kasha and her dad Nicholai Sachdev.” Kasha’s father himself is a power-lifter and thus motivates his daughter too to engage in it. Besides, both these champions believe that powerlifting not just trains the body but also strengthens the mind.
Seeing what this sport does to the body, i.e development of immense physical and mental strength, growth in height, building determination, grit and high levels of perseverance, keeps the two going. Each day, they are motivated to push and do better than the previous day. They say this development is not just going to help them get better at powerlifting but also in their life.
These champions reflect on how many positives powerlifting has brought into their lives. Noa says, “Powerlifting has changed me in many different ways. I have grown in height and my body composition has changed as well. It has made me more confident and self-assured than ever before.” Kasha shares her side of the story saying, “It has made me kinder. Powerlifting is a sport where real strength isn’t just lifting the bar, but also lifting people around you. That’s the real strength. I can now cheer for my competitors with a true heart. Being physically strong and mentally too, nothing seems to bother me now. Any challenge that comes, I’ll find a way. I’m confident and with a very positive outlook on life.”
Like every other achiever, Kasha and Noa were thrilled when they won the gold medals. Noa says, “I was over the moon and elated. I celebrated by having a midnight feast with all the junk food my heart desired.” “The sweat, some tears and hard work have all paid off,” Kasha adds.
When girls achieve something this great, the parents’ chest beam with pride. The same happened with our champions’ parents. They were unconditionally supportive, had immense faith, showered abundant love and basked in sheer joy when the medals came home. Kasha and Noa’s zest for powerlifting hasn’t just ended here. The girls are ready to take an even higher jump now and want to compete at a global level making not just Mumbai, but the whole of India proud.
By wearing the gold medal, Kasha and Noa have set a strong example for the youth of India to achieve their dreams with love, strong determination, endurance, and undivided perseverance. On a parting note, they have a message for you. Kasha says, “Train your mind along with your body. Your mind can push your body even when it thinks it’s done.” Noa has a special message for the girls out there. She says,“ Lift weights, get strong. Girls don’t be scared of getting muscles, it’s just as womanly as having long tresses!”