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Over the blues

When life gets you down, all you gotta do is “just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming swimming swimming…”  (if you have watched the movie before, I am sure you are singing the song in your head now :D) 

This quote from ‘Finding Nemo’ has become my bedside inspirational statement. Born with the fear of getting into water, my parents persuaded me to take up swimming classes to drive away that fear. This act of theirs not only drove my fear away, but also kindled in me the passion for the sport. I started swimming at the age of 4 and there was no stopping me since. Being the only girl from North Karnataka, India to have won 19 Gold medals, 14 Silver medals and 15 Bronze medals at the National level; and to have won a total of 48 Gold medals in 3 consecutive years for the inter-university selection in swimming, I decided that I want to remain connected to sports, directly or indirectly, throughout my life. 

In India, education is given the top-most priority. I am very grateful to my parents for supporting my swimming career, but they were always adamant that I input equal effort into keeping my grades up to build my academic profile. When I unfortunately came down with a spine injury, my education was a safety cushion to fall back to when I could not continue my swimming career anymore. During my undergraduate studies, I began working in local schools as a substitute teacher while giving private tuitions for kids; this made me realise my love for teaching. 

My passion for sport, love for teaching, and my education background in business management led me to pursue my Masters of Education in Sport Management at University of Texas Austin (Hook’Em horns!!!). During my time at UT Austin, I juggled between school and various roles like Assistant Instructor in Swim Conditioning, Teaching Assistant in Marketing & Finance courses, and so on. My role as an Academic Mentor for student-athletes at Texas Athletes instilled interest in me to guide athletes and students to achieve their academic benchmarks. I further went on to work in the space of professional training, development, skill-building and career guidance to Undergraduate & Masters students. 

Every student has a dream, be it athletic, academic, or personal. While every student is capable of achieving those dreams, they still need structure and guidance to reach that point. I have been that confused kid who wanted to achieve so many things, but had no idea how to get there. I am lucky to have had great coaches, mentors, and family who supported and helped me swim through the various blues in my life, whether it was my swimming career, my journey overseas, or helping me overcome my injury blues and every other blue that life threw at me. Today, through AddedEducation, I want to be that person to support, guide, and help pave a student’s future—professionally and personally. I want to help them to “Just keep swimming” through whatever blue life throws at them. 

Tanvi Doddanavar, Lead Counselor