“Ms P T Usha saw potential in her at the selection trials for admission to the Usha School in 2015. She knows Elga will be a great athlete if she is given the right training,” he said.RYTHM Foundation joined hands with the Usha School to support talented young girls from underprivileged families to help develop their potential. The program helps take care of all their expenses including education, food, accommodation, sports kits, travel, medical care, training equipment and various other miscellaneous expenses. The aim is to take the financial burden away from the athletes and the school so that they can focus 100% on developing their talent. Elga Thomas is one of the five promising young female athletes being sponsored by RYTHM Foundation since 2018.
Elga Thomas was born in Wayanad district of Kerala in the farming village of Karakkamala. The youngest of three children, her father is a farmer, just like most of the residents of the village and her mother Bindu is a homemaker. From a young age, Elga has been active in sports, participating in athletics programs in her school. It was when she was in Grade 7 that things changed. She won the athletic meet at her school and was chosen for a district level competition where she once again grabbed the 1st place. In 2015, Elga’s father saw an ad in the local newspaper calling for selection try outs to the Usha School of Athletics. He encouraged the then 12-year old to apply. PT Usha, the legendary track and field queen of India is a role model for many young women, especially in Kerala, her home state. Usha saw the potential of this young athlete to achieve great things on the track and Elga has proven her right. Since joining the Usha School of Athletics, Elga has won numerous sporting accolades at interschool, state and district level. Her most recent achievement was winning the first place for the 4 x 400 meters race with a record of 3:54,68 at the Khelo India Youth Games 2019 in the under 17 category. In 2018, Elga won four gold medals at the Revenue District School Games 2018, 62nd State Junior Athletics Championship 2018 and MK Joseph Memorial 16th Kerala State Inter-District Club Athletics Championship 2018. In 2017, she walked away with a gold medal at the 62nd National School Athletics Championships (Sub Junior). In 2016, Elga won 11 gold medals in five sporting events namely Kozhidoke Revenue District School Athletics Championships, 60th Kerala Junior Athletics Championship, Balussery School Sub District School Athletics Championships and M.K. Joseph Memorial 14th Inter Club Athletics Championships 2016. Elga is not only a talented athlete with a winning record but also a very good student with outstanding academic achievements. In early 2019, Elga Thomas took the class 10 board exams, which is the equivalent of A Levels under the UK education system, and scored A+ in every one of her subjects! This 15-year old whose days are long and tough, and follows a gruelling schedule of training on the tracks and in the gym, has proven that academic excellence and athletic prowess can go hand in hand. Usha School of Athletics secretary-general P. A. Ajanachandran is proud of Elga’s recent academic achievement. “Truly admirable that she was able to find the time and energy to keep up with her academics while juggling her training schedule. It is obviously the culmination of a lot of hard work and perseverance on her part.