In talks with International kickboxing player Siddharth Bhaleghare
Gujarat Celebs got in touch with the kickboxing champion SiddharthBhaleghare. The excellent sportsperson has achieved immense love and success through his talent. He has won numerous medals throughout his journey. Witnessing many ups and downs, the amazing person is presently the CEO of Siddharth’s Fitness Club and the President of Kickboxing Association (Wako Gujarat).
Be with us to get to know his struggles to success.
How have you started with kickboxing?
“I started in 1998. I was 4 and a half years old. I began learning Karate and kickboxing. I was more into Karate at first. But, after I played some matches of Karate, my coach suggested me to go for kickboxing also. He was the one to see potential in me. So, I went for it and played on and on. I won a lot of competitions, tournaments. That is how it started.”
You have won Chief Minister Cup. You have played for Gujarat also and represented the state on nationals which must really be a proud thing. We are very proud of you.
“Yes, I won Chief Minister Cup. And last year I represented India in the World Championship where a total of sixty-five countries took part. I took India on the 5th rank. In February 2020, I went to Open International Competition in Germany. I won a gold medal there. I have been playing since childhood. And at present, I am the president of Wako Gujarat.”
Let us know about your early life and education.
“I started at Marathi Medium School in Baroda. I studied there from the first standard to the twelfth. During college, it became a bit hard. As I had to manage both studies and sports. And being a sportsperson, you have to be on a proper diet. Food intake and all also increase with time. And the expenses also rise with it. I had to follow a set lifestyle. My coach helped me a lot with everything. One by one I passed all the obstacles and made my way.”
Has anyone in your family been in this field?
“No, not really. But, because no one was in it, they supported my wish to go for it. that happened later though. but when I started, I was so little I had no idea what I was doing. My parents used to treat me with chocolates and things like that for going to the classes. And I went for chocolates only! Then, slowly I got into it. when I played the first match and won the silver medal it motivated me a lot. And finally, I started to like the game. After I was totally into it, I had this dream to play for India one day. It took time of course, and a lot of hard work to reach there. you know every player wishes to go there but, you cannot just reach. It needs lots of hard work and dedication. So, with God’s grace my wish got fulfilled.”
“Yes, of course. There are several stories behind the club that the whole day might pass and I won’t be completed. The story behind setting up the club also started from the friendly matches. Earlier when we played them, there used to be nothing beneath us. After some time, the mats were introduced. So, when the mats became a part, I got uncomfortable as I never practiced with them. I lost a friendly match because of it. I felt really bad and stopped talking to everyone for some time. Then, I realized I have to move on with the updates otherwise I will be one to lack behind. So, I decided to make a setup for myself. I bought a mat at first. I started working on myself. Then I thought I can start teaching children and with the fees, I will be able to pay for the props and all that I needed to practice. That’s how the idea came. After some time my students increased and they did well. at a time they also played the same tournaments where I took part. In some matches, it happened that I was winning medals and my students also won. We started getting media coverages. Now after all the hurdles, we are the largest training club in Gujarat. With all the equipment, central air conditioning, we made it better with time. It is named Siddharth Fitness. Many national and international players have come there. the whole thing became really very big. I never imagined it would grow so much. But it did and I am very glad for it.”
How many hours do you practice daily?
“He says laughingly, I pray to God every day to increase 24 hours to 30 hours so I can work. It is really difficult. My day starts at 6 o’clock in the morning with a session and ends at 10 O’clock at night. Except for three hours in the afternoon, my schedule is full. There are continue Batches, Siddharth’s Fitness Club training, and so on.”
“I have advice for the younger generation. I have students that attend school and college. The thing is that, with fast food, they want everything fast. But you need to give it time, you need to have the patience to go further. Like a child needs nine months to come out of the womb, everything requires a specific time. Whatever sport it is you need to give time and hard work. At my fitness club, many people come and they wish to achieve fitness, a fit body within a month. The thing is you cannot gain it like that. you need to follow a routine, be on a tight schedule to gain what you want. You should always remember that the amount of hard work you spend on sports it will pay you back. Results depend on how much you are giving. Secondly, you need to focus on fitness. Many players run for skills but with practice, you need to take your fitness into account to gain more skills. Then comes diet which the most important. You cannot eat fast food and anything you want while you are training to make yourself better. A proper diet leads to improvement.”
So, what kind of diet should they follow?
“Basically, if we talk about proper diet, it is that carbohydrate intake should be done in the morning before a workout. Thus, it will provide more energy. After game or practise you can take protein. The human body requires protein after the workout as it will take of the muscles that got affected during training. Then come fast food and fancy ones that we eat in outings and restaurants. I will not ask you to leave it but you must control it. You need to burn the calories that you consume; it is very important.”
How did you spend time in lockdown?
“Well, I never thought I would do it but, I started writing. I wrote poetry. Even I uploaded some on YouTube. I was talking to a friend about it; he suggested I share it publicly. So, I shared one at first to see how everyone take it. And I got really good responses. It kind of motivated me to write more. I wrote a lot of poems during the period.”
“Yes, sure, just let me think (laughs). So, I wrote this one recently; which is
“ab is struggle saath jeene mein na koi harqat hai
Manzil ka toh pata nahi par doston, yehraahein boht khoobsurat hai”
Siddharth, who do you look at as your inspiration?
“Of course, my parents come first. They supported me throughout. They worked really really hard for me. my father used to run a tea shop. When I was a child, people told him not to waste money like that on me; to save it for the future. But he never backed down. He has been so strong mentally that he stuck on to let me continue. Wherever I am today, it is because of them. whatever I have achieved, they are the reason behind it.”
And in your field, who do you wish to be like?
“I guess I compete with my own self every day. I motivate myself to become better. I want to achieve more than what I already have. There is no one who I would want to be like. I believe every person has their flaws. So, I want to improve myself.”
What are your upcoming tournaments?
“Now the major thing, that is on the way, is Asian Games. It will be held early next year. the selections are to within three months. I am preparing myself for it. my whole focus is on bringing a medal for India.”
Wish you all the luck with the games. Well, apart from kickboxing what are your hobbies?
“I like to listen to music. I love to travel also. I prefer country sides that has nature. I am quite addicted to nature you can say. I have planted many trees at my home. I like to spend time among the trees and greenery.”
Tell us something about your coach? How does he inspire you?
“His name is Jesal Patel. He is only one under whom I have ever trained. He has been training me since 1998. Like I said before, I was not that interested at first. But coach plays a role in any sportsman’s life. He is only one that prepares you to walk on your path. The same thing happened in my case also. He put a lot of effort into me. he used to take extra classes for me. he even did not take the regular monthly fees to train me. He saw the potential in me and put everything to prepare me for a better future. He always believed that I would succeed. If he did not support me financially, my journey would have been finished a long time back. All I had to do was to work harder every day. He would call me anytime be it morning or evening and I went. And I became the one to reach the international level. Also, I was the first one from Gujarat to reach there.”
How do you balance the negativity and tough phases of your life?
“It happens a lot when you achieve success; that some people start spreading negativity; some judge you. it feels very bad when that reaches you. what I feel is that I must keep working. I am not working for them or to impress them. I have been doing for myself; for my satisfaction; my betterment. So, I do not let their negativity affect me.”
“My best experience I can say I faced when I was in Turkey recently. It was the World Championship. In the opening ceremony, when I was opening with the national flag, my name got announced as the representer of India. It was such a proud moment. you understand the worth of the flag during these times. Usually, we hoist it on 15th August and 26th January. And we see it in school every day but never get the opportunity to touch it. There I got the chance to walk down the way holding the flag which is a big achievement for me. I was having constant goosebumps. I was literally in tears at that moment. that is a different feeling altogether.”
Tell us about your achievements.
“Well, there are many and I never really counted. Also, I heard that the number decreases if we count something so I have not done it.”
“Okay, the one in Turkey I already told you about. Before it, I won Gold in the Nationals that was held in Delhi. This was special because I participated after about four years. I took a break in the middle because of injuries. I had to undergo surgery. It was my come back and I was very concerned about how I would do it; if I would win or not. I was standing on top before the break and as it was my first game after a long period, I got very worried. You know the name you make fades away with time if you do not stick onto it. I was nervous. When I won gold, it felt good to be back.”
We will play a short rapid-fire round. You will have to answer fast okay. So,
Your favourite food – Pasta
Hangout place – Café
Actor – Salman Khan
Actress – Alia Bhatt
The special person in your life – My friends
Wish you want to come true – of course, a medal in the Olympics
What message do you want to give to your audience?
“I would want to tell you to support all the sports and sportspersons. As you know, in our country, only a few sports are given importance. But, sports like volleyball, boxing, kickboxing, and many more, do not receive that kind of support. I want to tell all the audience, everyone in our country to support every sport. The audience plays a big role in motivating players. With peoples’ support, they would be more encouraged. When I was playing in World Championship what I saw was that I had only my team to support me and no one else. But on the opposition, the supporters were larger in number than the team. So, the importance of audience we get to feel from these events. Their encouragement matters.
“Every player from every sport deserves an equal amount of love and respect. Nowadays, girls are participating in many sports. They are getting onto combat sports which is really great. I hope it keeps getting better.”
Do you have anything to say for Gujarat Celebs?
“Gujarat Celebs is a very nice initiative. It is giving a platform to players and their stories. They can reach out there through you guys. And this creates positivity among people also. It is a great thing what Gujarat Celebs is doing. All the best for your page.”