Pune, 11th August 2022: Urmila Gaikwad, a swimming coach at Orchids International School, Kharadi, has proved that age is merely a number if you are truly determined to achieve something. This ambitious, courageous, and determined woman decided to complete her overdue education with her son.
Urmila lost her father at a very young age. Owing to the financial crunch in the family, she had to drop out of school after grade 7. However, her life turned a new leaf in 2007 when she relocated to Pune with her husband and son.
While working initially as a swimming pool cleaner, she unexpectedly developed an interest in swimming and decided to become an instructor. With the help of her then manager, she completed her certification course in 2011. After that, she started participating in various competitions and received accolades. In 2011, she also started working as a professional swimming coach in multiple schools. Though she progressed quickly as a coach, she faced challenges while communicating with the children she was training. She realized her confidence was low as she could not complete her education during her childhood. Many schools refused her candidature as a swimming coach owing to her incomplete school education.
These difficulties only strengthened her resolve, and she decided to overcome them by taking the most daring step. She enrolled for Grade 10 as a private student while her son was also studying in the same grade as a regular student. Without inhibitions, she revived her quest for learning after 23 years.
Her hard work paid off when she passed the exam with 45% marks. The new achievement was motivation enough for her to continue and enroll as a regular student in Grade 11 with her son. Without paying heed to what opinion all others held for her, she came out with flying colours in her Grade 12 exam and scored an excellent 71%.
The swimming coach’s desire to learn and achieve has not ceased. She has now pulled her socks up to learn communicative English and is also pursuing her degree in Arts. She has also proven to be a paragon for the females of her family. Her co-sister also enrolled for her Grade 12 exam after being motivated by Urmila’s journey and achievements.
Inspiring lives like that of Urmila’s are inspirations for the coming generations. You go, Urmila!