After Naib Subedar Jeremy Lalrinnunga’s gold in the 67-kg men’s weightlifting at the Commonwealth Games, the Pune-based Army Sports Institute (ASI) and its Boys Sports Company witnessed another golden moment as Havildar Achinta Sheuli won the top medal in the 73-kg category.
Army officials said 20-year-old Achinta’s journey — from the time he had to earn a living by doing embroidery work to support his family to winning a Commonwealth Gold Medal – will be an inspiration for the youth of the country.
Born on November 24, 2001, Achinta grew up in Deulpur in Howrah district of West Bengal. Having lost his father at an early age, Achinta helped his elder brother and mother by doing embroidery and tailoring work at a very early age.
In spite of all odds, Achinta, inspired by his elder brother Alok, pursued his passion by receiving training from weightlifting coaches in Howrah in his initial days.
Officials said Achinta’s talent was first spotted by Army authorities in December 2013 during the Youth Nationals in Guwahati. Achinta was inducted in the Boys Sports Company of the ASI in January 2015, where he had access to state-of-art training infrastructure, rigorous practice and preparatory regime, as well as various national-level training camps.
In October 2020, Achinta was recruited in the Army in the rank of Havildar in the Army’s first Signal Training Centre in Jabalpur as his parent unit. A silver medal in the May 2021 Weightlifting Junior World Championship and a gold in December 2021 in Weightlifting World Championship not only established Achinta in the global scene, but also paved the way for the Commonwealth qualification.
Officials say Achinta has been a focused and hardworking sportsman and his journey will be a source of inspiration for many young boys and girls across the country, and particularly those from the ASI and the Boys Sports Company.
As many as 16 sportsmen from ASI are participating in the ongoing Commonwealth Games.
The ASI and its affiliate Boys Sport Company conduct training in seven sports — archery, athletics, boxing, diving, wrestling, fencing and weightlifting.
The Boys Sports Company at the ASI was raised in January 2006 under Army’s Mission Olympics Programme with the aim of spotting talent at a very young age. Boys in the age group of 8 to 14 years are selected through an open process. An attached school run with the CBSE pattern simultaneously helps students complete their studies.
The ASI was raised in July 2001 as the premier Sports Training Establishment of the Army, under Mission Olympics, to tap a vast talent pool of sportsmen serving in the Army.
Tokyo Gold Medalist Subedar Neeraj Chopra, who is also from the ASI, received a significant part of his coaching, training and administrative support at the institution, along with several other Olympians and Asian and Commonwealth Games athletes.