10-year-old Andris is the best sportsman in the village, and he has won first place in a competition for Baltic sports schools in walking.
Andris is a modest boy from SOS Children's Village Islice (Latvia), who is a local hero because of the good results in various international walking competitions. Although even the village's newspaper described him as an excellent sportsman, the boy says modestly: "I'm not so sure if I'm such a good sportsman as everybody says."
But his results suggest that Andris is too modest - first place in a walking competition for Baltic sports schools, second place in the International Tele2 walking Grand Prix for Youth, where participants came from the Baltic states, Poland, Russia and Finland. He covered 1 km in 5.36; in April his form was even better and it took him 5.13 to cover the distance.
He gets to know the town
Improving your condition is hard work. "We train 3-4 times a week," the boy says. "I like the fact that there are only five trainees in our group - the trainer can concentrate on each sportsman."
Training consists in either running or walking and it's always outside. "It's always outside no matter if it's raining or snowing," says his SOS mother, and she adds: "Training outside has many advantages: they get fresh air and get acquainted with the town."
His SOS mother was the first who thought about having him join the walking training group, but it started with Andris's brother, Arturs. "I discovered that Arturs has a peculiar way of walking that was similar to that of the walkers, and he agreed to join the training group."
Andris joined the training group after that. "Arturs talked to the trainer and I also joined the training group," tells Andris.
The most difficult thing to learn is the technique of walking. "Two points of the leg must have contact with the ground - the toes and the heel," explains Andris.
To do better than his brother
Although the coach - whose most famous student, Aigars Fadejevs, won the silver medal for Latvia in 50-km walking in the Olympic Games in Sydney - has said that Arturs has a natural gift for walking, Andris has better results.
In his mother's opinion, the different characters of the boys can explain this. "Andris is a slow starter - it takes time to get him going, but when he has started something he goes right to the end. His brother is different - he accelerates quickly, but he is a bit impatient and also gets bored quickly."
So it's a common problem for the boys who attend the same class in school that Arturs takes in the first part and Andris the last part of the teacher's explanations, and if it's a long explanation, the middle part will be missing.
It causes problems sometimes, but Andris only cares about one thing. "I want to be a better walker than my brother."