Rehan Poncha is one of India’s finest athletes – one of seven swimmers to have represented India in the Olympics. An Olympian Swimmer and Arjuna Awardee, Rehan’s been an icon in Indian swimming, competing at the most prestigious championships including the Beijing Olympics, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and the Asian Indoor Games. With multiple medals at the Malaysian, Singapore and Hong Kong Open, Asian Indoor Games and Asian Swimming Championships, Rehan also holds the distinction of being five-time National Champion, the Best Overall Athlete at the 2002 and 2007 National Games and a finalist at the 2010 Asian and Commonwealth Games. He currently holds 4 national records. Trading in his swimming goggles for golf clubs, Rehan is now pursuing Golf, with a dream of going pro. In addition, Rehan is a TV presenter, travel writer, motivational speaker and coach.
You can read his (and very impressive!) full bio here
Interview with Rehan Poncha
What drives you to get up in the morning and go training every day?
My goals do , I go to bed thinking of them and I wake up in the morning planning how I can be better at what I choose to do.
What is important to you? ( apart from sports what else do you do, and believe in?)
I have a few hobbies , some that I have managed to spend more time on through this lockdown. I have always been fascinated by watches and the art of making complicated mechanical movements . I’ve started learning more about the above and find it almost meditative. Considering two decades of my life have been spent connected to timekeeping, I feel it was only natural I went down this path as well.
One word that describes you?
What do you do to calm your butterflies when you compete?
When I compete , I get nervous thinking about the result sometimes. To calm those nerves I try and focus more on the process of what I am supposed to do during competition. If my mind can calmly think through those steps that will make a great result rather than the result itself- I feel like I control the pressure built up quite well .
What’s on your playlist right now? (What music genres and which artists do you enjoy listening to before a match?)
I’ve always loved rock and country music.
The Eagles are a favourite and no matter what mood i’m in , their music brings me joy.
What coaches, teacher or other people have been great influences in your life and why or how?
I have had the good fortune of Learning from and being inspired by a number of teachers through my sporting career. Two decades of swimming and now seven years of golf has helped connect me with brilliant minds from each game- too many to name actually – so I’ll just say that every teacher of mine ever since I was little had something constructive to offer through his ears of experience. And I believe I have been a sponge to their knowledge that serves me well when I teach today.
What one word or phrase do you want people to associate with your name?
Fantastic student and a smart athlete.