Multitalented Ammar points out the need for a skate park

By Kusumanjalee Thilakarathna

Ammar Anis is a 13-year-old star sportsman from Zahira College, Colombo. He excels in archery and rifle shooting and has bagged national-level gold medals. In 2018, he was positioned as the “Under 10 Top Archer” at the Colombo School of Archery. He is also an animal lover and has three parrots at home with him. He says he enjoys the company of his parrots. Dreaming of becoming a pilot in the future, he works towards his dreams. Ammar is a skateboard enthusiast and points out the need to have a skate park to practise skateboarding in Sri Lanka. Here’s what Ammar shared with Little Stars.

Ammar, can you introduce yourself to us?

My name is Ammar Anis and I am 13 years old. I am a student of Zahira College, Colombo. I have two younger brothers. I have three pet birds. My hobbies are doing sports and I do nine sports.

Amazing to know that you do nine different sports. Can you tell us what they are?

Swimming, football, tennis, skateboarding, roller-skating, rifle shooting, archery, kayaking, and aikido. I also do cadetting

What is your favourite among those?

My most favourites are archery and rifle shooting. In 2020, I was able to bag the gold medal in nationals under my age category. Sadly, I became second in rifle shooting, missing just two points in becoming the sharpest shooter. But in my school, I am the sharpest shooter.

Where do you practise rifle shooting and archery?

I practise rifle shooting at school and archery at the Colombo Archery School.

What qualities do you need to become a sharpshooter?

You need to improve your ability to focus and practise more.

Can you tell us how aikido is different from karate? And why did you choose to practise aikido?

My father has an academy at Taj Samudra. That’s how I got interested in learning that. Aikido is a soft technique based on the original concept of martial arts. Karate is a hard martial art technique that requires one to execute hard punches first to develop muscular strength. In aikido, we mostly use the opponent’s strength against him.

We got to know that you have a special talent for skateboarding. Can you tell us how you got interested in skateboarding?

We put our younger brother for speed skating practices, and I too started liking it. Then I started learning to skateboard by watching YouTube tutorials. Unfortunately in Sri Lanka, we don’t have any skateboard parks. There is another sport called longboarding and that’s what we practise here. It’s just practised on a long road without any stunts. That’s what I used to practise too and that’s how I got interested.

What I like to do most are the stunts, but you need to have skate parks for that. Longboarding doesn’t require stunts.

How long have you been practising archery? Can you tell us a little bit about your experience in it too?

I started doing archery when I was seven years old. I stopped it in between for a year. When I restarted, I received silver at nationals for two years. I have one gold medal and a gold cup for archery. Sadly, since the beginning of this pandemic, I did not get a chance to practise or participate in any competition.

Can you tell us a little bit about your birds too? Have you named them?

I have three parrots – one green cheek conure and a pair of eclectus parrots. The eclectus pair is from Solomon Island, Australia. It is very easy to identify them. The male is green and the female is red and blue. The green cheek conure is a little small and it is from Africa and the name is Olive. The male eclectus name is Kiwi and the female is Pepper.

Also, tell us a little about your daily routine to keep fit during these pandemic times

In the morning, I have to participate in online classes. And in the evening, my father, my brothers, and I do exercises and weight-lifting. We try to keep active as much as possible.

What is your ambition?

My ambition is to become a pilot.

Who are your supporters?

Mainly my father, my mother, and my brothers. I have to also mention my extended family. They too are very supportive of me.

Do you have any final message for us?

Sri Lanka is still very poor in sports. There is a lot more we can improve. I really wish we had a skate park or a roller-skating wing here so that we can practise skateboarding. That’d be really helpful to those who are interested in that sport.