Mamathi Vinoth would spend hours practising hula hooping after school every day to perfect her technique.
Spinning, hopping and twirling, the nine-year-old worked on her strength, stamina and consistency.
The hard work paid off a few weeks ago when the Grade 4 student from Mississauga set three Guinness World Records for hula hooping, although she kept the achievement a secret from her classmates at first.
“I was really excited and happy and I felt everything you could imagine,” she said in an interview.
Mamathi set the world records in January in the United Kingdom, after being invited to London by the corporation that tracks human achievements and the extremes of the natural world. She said she was nervous leading up to her performance but felt confident in the moment.
“I was so happy that I couldn’t stop (talking) about it,” she said of the immediate aftermath.
Mamathi set records for most hops while spinning a hula hoop on the ankle in one minute – 110 times; most hula hoop rotations around knees while in a dancer pose in 30 seconds – 62 times; and most hula hoop rotations around the knees on inline skates in 30 seconds – 76 times.
Her mother, Kadambari Vinoth, said she and her husband were ecstatic about their daughter’s achievements.
“Everyone is so happy for her at such a young age, even her grandparents,” she said. “She’s really fast and she can control it really well.”
Mamathi was born in India and lived in the United States for two years before she moved to Mississauga with her parents when she was five years old.
Her mother, who used to hula hoop herself, said Mamathi began twirling a 30-inch polypropylene plastic hoop around her waist, neck, arms and legs when she was two years old.
“She got very nice when she was four,” she said.
Mamathi said hula hooping comes naturally to her.
“It’s a really nice sport to do because it doesn’t include running or kicking or anything,” she said.
Vinoth said her daughter first set a record last year while on vacation in India, when a witness from Guinness watched as she performed the most hula hoop rotations in a horizontal position in one minute.
A year later, Guinness invited her to England to set the latest three records.
Mamathi said she kept her records a secret for weeks before she recently told her classmates and teachers about her accomplishments.
“They congratulated me and seeing how happy they were for me, it encouraged me more to do more records like this,” she said.
She said she wants to go to the Olympics one day and compete in rhythmic gymnastics, which combines her three hobbies including hula hooping, gymnastics and dancing. Her mother said they’re looking for an instructor to start training her.
Mamathi said she also wants to be a scientist who studies animals when she gets older.
“I like that some animals are dangerous, some are kind, some are in water, some are on land and there’s so many to learn about,” she said.
Her mother said Canadians can find Mamathi in the Guinness World Record book when it releases in 2025.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2023.