The ultimate test of strength and stamina was seen at Season 2 of the Ultimate Girevik Cup 2018 held at the Strength and Fitness Personal Training Studio in New Alipore on July 28. Trainer and kettlebell champion, Kaushik Balial took the initiative once again to organise this kettlebell marathon event at his studio where 12 players participated on that day. As an effort to promote kettlebell sports in the eastern zone, primarily Kolkata and West Bengal, Kaushik organised Season 2 of the marathon to motivate existing players and encourage new players to come into the sport. “I have been involved with kettlebell sports for many years now and have participated in competitions around India. However, there is almost no awareness about the sport in this state and very little initiative to promote it here. The best part about kettlebell sport, at present, is that there are not too many restrictions with regard to weight and physical attributes of the player. Even an overweight person can perform if he or she has the right amount of strength and stamina,” said Kaushik. This event had seven women gireviks (kettlbell lifters). “Its encouraging to see that more women are coming forward to join the sport,” said Kaushik.
Kettlebell lifting is marked on the number of repetitions a person can perform in a specific period of time. In case of a marathon, participants have to complete maximum repetitions in a span of 30 minutes without dropping the bell on the ground. “Since this was Season 2, participants had to outdo their own performance in Season 1. In this kind of event, a participant is his or her own competitor,” said Santoshi Balial, who surpassed her own performance of 240 repetitions in the last season with 280 repetitions in this event. The event was a show of grit and determination as well and senior girevik, Md Shanawaz Alam displayed exemplary performance at the marathon. At the end of his 30 minutes, Shahnawaz had bleeding palms. “I have been training under Kaushik for the past few months and he prepared me both mentally and physically to face the challenge. My hands had started bleeding halfway through my performance but I didn’t even realise it. My trainer’s hard work in increasing my confidence and focus helped me achieve my goal,” said Shahnawaz.
Medals were ready for all participants. “Since every participant completed the whole span of 30 minutes, every one received a medal on that day. The event was conducted under the International Kettlebell Marathon Federation (IKMF) and IKMF certified judge in India, Suman Debnath from Fitter Strength, was present that day. “Kettlebell marathons are becoming popular events across the world and even in India. Now fitness studios in Kolkata are also trying hard to promote the sport among common people,” said Arnav Sarkar, the founder of Fitter Strength who is also the first Indian to become international certified kettlebell judge.