Surrey: Parm Phangura, an Olympic Weightlifter, born and raised in beautiful Quesnel, British Columbia and currently residing in Surrey, B.C. has been selected to represent Canada at 2014 Commonwealth Games.Parm Phangura has dedicated over 13 years of his life to weightlifting; a sport that is sheer in tradition and history and that has always been his passion. Parm is currently part of the Canadian Senior National Team and is a distinguished three-time National Champion. He is presently training for the 2014 Commonwealth Games to held in Glasgow, Scotland from July 23 – Aug 03, 2014.
In an interview with Asian Journal Parm spoke about his sport and outlook towards life:
Asian Journal: Why did you choose to become a weightlifter?
Parm: I got inspired by Parmjit Gill; he was a popular weightlifter when I was a child, I was amazed at his strength and then my cousins, Harjider Phangura and Jaswant Phangura who were already into weightlifting in India came here and introduced me to this sport. At the age of 15, I took my first steps toward the sport and in 2000 became competitive athlete.
Asian Journal: Mostly sportsmen give up on studies when they begin competing. Did you complete your studies?
Parm: I have studied Occupational Health and Safety at BCIT as full time student. While I was doing my full time course I was competing and became national weightlifting champion. Currently, I am working as a Health and Safety advisor in Abbotsford.
I wanted to establish a career and did not train full time. I believe education is very important, it is important to go to school and earn at least a post-secondary degree. Recently, I met an Olympic weightlifter from Quebec, she is a national level athlete and also is pursuing medical education and next year she will become a doctor. I think one can do both, build a career and follow your passion. It’s all about time management.
Asian Journal: what do you have to say to youngsters who fall prey to drugs?
Parm: It’s very unfortunate that young men and women get addicted to drugs and get involved with gangs. Sports can be a savior; it can give a child and a young adult means and direction to accomplish great things in life. Sports can be a constructive outlet for the energy in a young adult. Sports are also an addiction, the high you get from your sporting career; from competition, from your achievements is incredible.
Asian Journal: Not all days a same, what do you do when you have a bad sporting day?
Parm: I train out of in my garage, and at times at the Universal Fitness in Surrey. In my garage I have lots of motivational posters that I use as my inspiration tool while training. On a bad day, self-motivation is the key; I remind myself constantly of my goal and get strength to overcome small hurdles. Even on gloomy winter day I remind myself of my goal, purpose and train as usual.
Asian Journal: Who else in your family is a sportsperson? How does your family deal with your sporting ups and downs?
Parm: My wife, Sophia is 9 time national medalist, she retired 2010. She had her goals and then fulfilled them and is now a successful mother. She is my inspiration. When things are not going my way then I just remind myself, if she can do it so can I. My parents live with me. All of them including my 5 year old daughter keep me motivated and focused; they all keenly follow my game and support me.