Girish Sharma: The inspiration

Blog by: Raj Kishan

Girish Sharma: The inspiration

We expect life to throw lemons at us, because we have planned to make lemonade, but what if your lemonade plans are hindered by life, because it throws stones at you? What would you rather do, stop? Or find a way around it!

“Jump! And you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fly.” Courage is what we need! Here is someone who would encourage you to jump and try to extend your wings and motivate you to fly.

Girish Sharma, the great badminton player is an inspiration to millions of people in India and around the world; 2 gold medals at The National championship for the physically-challenged, representing India in Israel and winning 2 silver medals in both singles and doubles, represented India in Thailand, and to top all of this , gold medal at Paralympics Asia Cup. The feats sound impressive already, right? Wait till you hear the story.

Girish Sharma, now 32 years of age, lost his right leg in a train accident when he was at the tender age of two! While other people might sunk into depression, this champion, never stopped believing in his dreams. The champ had always wanted to serve his nation as an army man, and make India proud. Unfortunately, considering his hurdles, the disability, that dream became rather unreachable. But the victors don’t stop at that. Never! And being the winner, that he is, Girish, simply found and took another route to achieve his dream.

Born in Rajkot to an Indian Railway employee, Sharma has from a very young age loved outdoor sports and has always been athletic. His brother- a football player- accompanied him to a sports club, where he fell in love with badminton. When he turned 16, he decided that he wanted to play the sport professionally. He got under a training program and then underwent basic training of the sport after which he learned of the physically challenged national games.

The second ranked, in both singles and doubles, champion player, Girish, understandably, had to face a lot of difficulties, as a child it is especially hard, but his mental strength and spirit never wavered.
He says, “When I was a child, I used to play Cricket, Football, and Badminton with normal children of my age. My disability was nowhere near in my mind. I enjoyed those games as much as a normal person does.” Such spirit!

Success does not come easy and Girish knows that. The champ, trains 6 hours a day, he has got one strong leg that he just doesn’t play standing but he moves around the court continuously hit the shuttlecock. Among the many difficulties, financial aspects are the main hindrances, it takes him about 80k to 90k to participate in competitions and neither the government nor the sponsors support him. He has first hand witnessed how other countries treat their players and expects our government to help him too. And for sponsors he says that it isn’t really easy, Girish says “When I meet companies and ask for their sponsorship for my trip, first thing that ask me is that who watch your sports? Now, this is truly insulting one.”

The hardship has taken a toll on him, but winners never quit! Girish does not want to stop at just stop at medals he wants to improve the sports reforms, especially for the physically challenged. He wants to disabled sports quota, to this end and help the aspiring sportsmen.

Girish is an example for us lazy youngsters! Let’s wake up and jump and try to fly.

YouWeCan – Yuvraj Singh

Blog By : Ipsa Singh

YouWeCan – Yuvraj Singh

“The harder the struggle, the more glorious the triumph.”

The world is full of unexpected surprises that often don’t turn out to be pleasant. There is an organisation that promises to try it’s best to take away the biggest fear of any individual’s life. “ CANCER. “  The foundation is full of life and kindness. You can even call it a lifeline, or to be specific , that’s – YouWeCan for you.

YouWeCan is Yuvraj Singh’s endeavour to combat cancer by spreading awareness about the disease and fighting the stigma attached to it. The national cricketer announced the launch of ‘YouWeCan’, an initiative by the Yuvraj Singh Foundation (YSF), in July 2012. The initiative focuses on all the aspects of the disease including the advantages of early detection. YouWeCan always comes up with interesting ways to educate people on cancer by organizing sports events and fairs and not restrict to seminars and lectures.

Yuvraj Singh is renowned cricketer, who now has turned into an inspiration for those who believe, that cancer is an end to life, for those who stop living life as soon as they get the news, for those who die even before they are dead.

Yuvraj Singh has proved with his battle against success that “It’s not over until it’s Over.”

The YouWeCan initiative was planted while Yuvraj Singh was still in the hospital. He shared his experience with the virtual world as he posted pictures of his treatment and the severe physical changes he was going through, sending one clear message: FIGHT.

YouWeCan focuses on every sector of cancer. Be it creating awareness about its symptoms and chemotherapy procedures or helping educate the kids who are cancer survivors. The organisation is a firm believer of

Hope and faith may be more firmly built upon charity, than charity upon faith and hope – Benjamin Franklin.

The foundation Create a conscious environment to fight cancer by inculcating a habit of regular cancer check-ups. To educate all the segments of society about the implications of the disease through affordable campaigns.

Yuvraj Singh Foundation is a non-profit organisation registered under the Bombay Public Trusts Act 1950 launched by Yuvraj Singh himself. The organisation is active since 2009 and working for three primary initiatives: Health, Education and Sports. YouWeCan is an effort to support and build awareness in their quest to conquer cancer. These grants will provide substantial funding of devices and adaptation of existing technologies for cancer awareness and detection in low and middle-income areas nationally.

The biggest and the most noted act of this organisation is to provide cancer patients with scholarships . This initiative aims to help the families that are facing a financial crisis due to the expensive and prolonged cancer treatment of their immediate family member by educating their children. This process started on august 7th , 2017.

The initiative taken by the foundation also helps in securing the future of the country as a whole. Youth of a country needs to be protected and cured in order to make a flourished country.

The foundation adheres by the saying, “ Cancer is only going to be a chapter in your life,not the whole story. “

The Upcoming youth Icons – Prithvi Shaw and Shubhman Gill

Blog By : Ipsa Singh

The Upcoming youth Icons – Prithvi Shaw and Shubhman Gill

 

 “The fog may seem thick, but the sun will surely pierce through and brighten up the sky.”

Prithvi Pankaj Shaw, born on 9th November 1999 in Thane, Maharashtra, Is said to be a prodigy.  He is just 18 years old and is a part of major Indian cricket teams like – India under 19s, Mumbai under 14s, Mumbai under 16s, Mumbai under 19s, and Delhi Daredevils. This teenager has achieved what other teenagers dream to achieve of. He is a right handed opening batsman and bowler.

He was just 14 years old when he ones scored 546 runs off 330 balls that included 85 fours and 5 sixes for his school Rizvi Springfield, in a minor competition in 2013. In November 2016, he was the part of the Indian under 19 team which won the Youth Asia Cup in Sri Lanka.  Shortly, he managed to make a debut in Ranji Trophy where in the semi-finals against Tamil Nadu, he struck an awestruck century in the second innings and took his team to victory with glory.  In September 2017, he became the youngest player to score a century on Duleep trophy debut and breaking the record which was previously held by Sachin Tendulkar. That is when he became the captain of India’s Under-19 squad for the 2018 World Cup. During the tournament, he was sold to Delhi Daredevils for INR 1.2 crore (USD 187,500 approx) at the 2018 IPL auction.

He surely has got all the needed character traits for becoming the next upcoming youth icon. He’s got just the right amount of enthusiasm for the game to drive it off till the very end, mental strength, A balance and dignity beyond his years, Unremitting hard work and discipline.

Another Youth sensation these days is,

Young Indian cricketer, Shubhman Gill who caught everyone’s attention at the ICC under 19 cricket world cup. The vice-captain is screaming out to the Indian selectors saying “I’m all ready for the next step.”

He was born on 8th September 1999, In Fazilkapur, Punjab.  He shot to fame with 418 runs at an average of 104.50 in 2018 ICC under 19 world cup. He was also a favourite in the 2018 IPL auctions, and was picked by Kolkata Knight Riders for INR 1.8 crore (USD 280,000).

He scored 351 in Punjab’s Inter-District U16 tournament in 2014, racking up an opening stand of 587 with Nirmal Singh, and then went on to strike a double hundred in his U16 debut for Punjab at the 2016 Vijay Merchant Trophy. Gill won the BCCI award for the Best Junior Cricketer for consecutive years in 2013-14 and 2014-15, knocking hard on the doors of the U19 team. When picked, Gill starred in India’s handsome 3-1 win at home over England in the Youth ODIs, scoring 351 runs in 4 innings and then went on to match up to his high standards in his first tour of England soon after. India whitewashed the hosts 5-0 and Gill top-scored again with 278 runs across 4 innings.

Gill easily looked the best batsman among his colleagues at the World Cup, comfortably overhauling even Prithvi Shaw, the 18-year-old Mumbai batsman who had the media houses buzzing with a whooping five first-class hundreds to his name. Gill’s bottom-handed technique, made fashionably successful by Virat Kohli among many others, allowed him to play in a similar mould. He scored runs briskly, mixing quick singles and doubles with powerful hits across the ground, and stood out as much for his batting acumen as he did for his fielding prowess.

Saina Nehwal : The Champion

Blog by : Khusboo Kothatri

Saina Nehwal : The Champion

“You can’t put a limit on anything . The more you dream ,the farthest you get.”

Saina Nehwal was born on 17 March 1990,is an Indian professional badminton singles player. She won gold at 2018 Commonwealth Games in women’s singles after defeating  P. V. Sindhu after which she became the first Indian to win 2 singles gold in commonwealth games. Saina Nehwal, the former world no. 1 has won over twenty three international titles, which include ten Superseries titles. In 2015, she was able to attain the world no. 1 ranking, thereby becoming the only female player from India and overall the second Indian player – after Prakash Padukone – to achieve this feat. She has represented India three times in the Olympics, winning bronze medal.

She has achieved several milestones in badminton for India and made us provide . She is the first Indian badminton player to have won an Olympic medal, along with being the only Indian to have won the BWF World Junior Championships or to have reached to the final of the BWF World Championships that was time she became Indian’s inspiration and proved herself . In 2006, Nehwal became the first Indian female and the youngest Asian to win a 4-star tournament. She also has the distinction of being the first Indian to win a Super Series title. She is a role model to many young badminton players.

She is one of the most successful Indian sportperson, she is credited for increasing the popularity of badminton in India. In 2016, the Government of India  conferred the Padma Bhushan on her. She also  won the nation’s top two sporting honours, namely the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and the Arjuna Award. She was born in Hindu Jat family in Hisar. She  also has a brown belt in Karate. In 2002, sports brand Yonex offered to sponsor Saina’s kit. As her status and rankings improved, the sponsorships increased. In 2004, BPCL signed the rising star. She is one of the athletes supported by Olympic Gold Quest. She is the brand ambassador of Sahara India Pariwar.  She endorses Herbal life , Top Ramen Noodles ,Fortune Cooking Oil, NECC, Indian Overseas Bank, Vaseline, Sahara and Yonex. Recently  she was announced as the brand ambassador for Honor, the Huawei smartphone sub-brand.

She had signed an endorsement deal worth Rs. 400 million with the popular sports management firm Rhiti Sports in 2012. She severed this deal in 2013 and signed up with KWAN entertainment and marketing solutions for an undisclosed sum. She has a dedicated sporting range with the multinational sports goods manufacturer Yonex, 4% of the profits of which goes to her. Apart from endorsements, she has also been invited on popular Indian television shows as a guest including Satyamev Jayate, Comedy Nights with Kapil, The Kapil Sharma Show.

She has devoted herself to the country and has encouraged women and girls to play and be selfstanding. She is a real example of leading sports women. This lines define her “Winners never quit and quitters never wins”.

APARNA POPAT

Blog by : Anuradha Guha

APARNA POPAT

Aparna Popat is an Indian ex-badminton player. She was born in Mumbai on 18th January,1978. Her parents were Lalji Popat and Heena Popat. She finished her schooling in J.B. Petit High School and pre-university course in Mount Carmel College, Bangalore. She got a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the Mumbai University.

Anil Pradhan, a National Champion, was the first to recognize the spark of talent in the 8-yr old Aparna. He was approached by her parents for her training. She started playing from 1986. She was taught many essential skills under his tutelage.

To further expand her capabilities, she shifted to the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy, Bangalore in 1994. Here, she received training under the acclaimed badminton player, Prakash Padukone himself. To enrich her experience further, she shifted to the Sports Authority of India training center at Kengeri, Bangalore. Here, Gangula Prasad was the coach and mentor.

In 1997, Aparna won her first Senior National title, in Hyderabad. In 1998, she was the winner of the French Open. Also in the same year, she won a silver medal for her performance in the Commonwealth Games held in Kuala Lampur. Aparna went on to win the Senior Nationals for 8 consecutive years. She won her last Senior Nationals in 2006 in Bangalore after defeating 15-year old Saina Nehwal.

Aparna Popat won the ‘Arjuna Award’ in 2005. Despite facing many hurdles in her career, she made a place for herself in the sports field by sheer determination and courage. Hers, is an inspiring story.

Aparna was one of the 17 participants to be selected, and the only Indian at that, to be chosen for the Global Sports Mentoring Program, an initiative taken by Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State and espnW. This programe was undertakes by her with vision of empowering women and girls throughout the world.

The highlights of Aparna Popat’s achievements are- Participation in 2 Olympic Games, 1 Asian Games, 1 Silver medal at the World Junior Championships in 1996 and 4 medals in the 3 Commonwealth Games appearances. She was quoted saying the following about the Commonwealth Games- “The Commonwealth Games mixed doubles is challenging because \Great Britain has a strong team. So mixed doubles will be a little dicey, but I believe we have a shot a Gold Medal across five categories.

Popat’s career was greatly influenced by the co9ntribution of her coaches. When her first coach, Anil Pradhan saw her play, he told her parents-“Give me this girl to train and I will put her on the map of India.” Popats also advises parents to trust their children’s coaches. She says- “It is important to trust coaches and their plans. Any negative comments on the coach or the politics of the sport in the child’s presence may have an adverse effect on his or her growth.” She also highlights the important role parents play in their children’s lives. She was quoted saying- “What parents say touches a chord with kids, which is why you have to choose your words carefully while communicating with children.”

 

 

HUMPY KONERU

Blog by : Anuradha Guha

HUMPY KONERU

Humpy Koneru is an Indian chess grandmaster.

Koneru was born on 31st March, 1987 in Vijaywada in Andhra Pradesh. Her name originally was Hampi which meant ‘champion’. Her father later changed her name to ‘Humpy’ to more closely resemble a Russian-sounding name.

Koneru won three gold medals at World Youth Chess Championship, one in 1997 under 10 girls division, one in 1998 under 12 girls division and another in 2000 under 14 girls division. In 1999 the Asian Youth Chess Championship was held in Hyderabad. She won at it under 14s’ division, competing with boys. Koneru won the World Junior Girls’ Championship in 2001. She won the British Womens’ Championship both in 2000 and 2002. In 2001, she won the 10th Asian Womens’ Individual Championship and the Indian Women Championship.

In 2005, Koneru won the North Urals Cup a round-robin tournament which was held in Russia and featured ten of the strongest female chess players in the world. In 2004, she participated in the Women’s World Championship for the first time and she has participated in it regularly ever since. She qualified to the semi finals in 2004, 2008 and 2010.

Koneru participated in the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix 2009-2011. She came second, thus qualifying as challenger for Women’s World Chess Championship 2011. Koneru was runner-up in the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix 2013-2014, losing to Hou Yifan in the final stage of the game.

She went into Women’s World Chess Championship 2015 as no. 1 but was defeated in the quarter-finals of the game by Maria Muzychuk, who eventually won the games.

In 015 itself, she own the individual bronze at the Women’s World Team Chess Championship held in Chengdu, China. Dronavalli Harika won silver in this game and Humpy won bronze. But in spite of this, India came fourth in the competition, a point behind China. China was the winner of the bronze medal.

Humpy Koneru was the first woman grandmaster. Her career first started when she won the fourth place in the Indian under-8 championships in 1995. That was the beginning of a wonderful journey and Humpy has not looked back since.

Humpy took part in a variety of matches and despite the failures she faced in many games, she continued of with grit and a steely determination. With courage and a desire to pursue her dreams, she eventually paved her way to success.

In 1999, Koneru was crowned Asia’s Youngest Women International Mater. (WIM)

In 2000, she was lauded World’s under-14 girl champion, Oropesa del Mar, Spain.

In 2001, she was crowned India’s youngest Woman Grandmaster. (WGM)

In 2001 itself, she was awarded World Junior Girls Champion, Athens.

In 2003, she was given the ‘Arjuna Award’, one of the most prestigious sports awards in India.

In 2007, Koneru was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest ranking civilian award in India.

Chess is a game of the mind. But Koneru highlights the importance of physical health in having a sharp clear mind. She was quoted saying- “I spend around one hour per day on physical exercise. Exercise is a must for every chess player. As the proverb says, ‘A sound mind in a sound body.’ ”

 

JOSHNA CHINAPPA

Blog by : Anuradha Guha

JOSHNA CHINAPPA

Joshna Chinappa is a professional Indian squash player.

She was born in Chennai, Tamil Nadu on 15th September, 1986. Playing squash runs in Chinappa’s blood. Her family has been interested and actively participating in the game for more than four generations. Her great-grandfather, Marshall K. M. Cariappa, was the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army. He also actively played squash and it was he who started the tradition of playing this game in the family. Chinappa’s father, Anjan Chinappa,  like her great-grandfather also regularly plays squash and has represented India in a variety of international games multiple times.

From a very young age, Chinappa was deeply enamored with this game and considered taking it up as a career. She started playing squash at the Madras Cricket Club from the tender age of 8. Due to her extreme interest in the game, though she continued with her studies, she was never really into them.

Till date, she has played 10 senior and 10 junior National Championships. When she was 14 years old, she was awarded the epithet of the Youngest Senior National Champion.

Chinappa was the first Indian to win the British Squash Championship Title in 2003. In 2004 she won the Indian National Senior, Indian National Junior, Malaysian Junior, Asian Championship, at the Hong Kong Event and at the SAF Games in Pakistan. She was also the Runner-Up at British Open Junior. In 2005, Chinappa was the runner-up at World Junior Championships in Belgium. In the same year, she also won the Asian Junior and British Junior Open. In 2009, she was the winner at NCS Series No. 6 (Tour 12). In 2017, she was the winner at the Asian Squash Title. In 2018, Joshna Chinappa won at the Commonwealth Games.

At the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Chinappa, side by side with Deepika Pallikal Karthik won the squash women’s doubles gold medal, thus making it India’s first Commonwealth Games medal in the sports category.

In spite of her talent, it wasn’t a smooth road for Joshna to reach the place she has today. She was quoted saying- “I chose squash as I was comfortable and there was a sense of familiarity to it.” She has mentioned that she could access the squash courts easily due to her father’s membership, for which she was grateful. But she had to face a problem most sportspersons have to- financial problems.

She couldn’t participate in more than three or four games a year because it was not possible for her family to afford so much travelling expenses. Due to such financial problems, when she got chances to play abroad, she would travel alone since her parents could not afford to come with her every time.

She stresses upon the roles played by parents in helping their children maintain a positive attitude, and as is known, no athlete could succeed with a negative attitude towards the games. She said- “Parents backing is very important.”

She has said in several interviews that she would like to give back to sport. She also highlights that education is extremely important for young people since it is an effective back-up.

She was quoted saying- “I want to help out fellow players and would love to share my knowledge with upcoming players. It would be great to give back to the sport.”

 

Manika Batra : Table Tennis

Blog by : Khusboo Kothatri

Manika Batra is an Indian table tennis player. As of April 2018, she is the top-ranked female table tennis player in India and ranked 58th in the world.

Batra was born on 15 June 1995 as the youngest of three children.She hails from Naraina Vihar in Delhi and began playing table tennis at the age of four.Her elder sister Anchal and elder brother Sahil both played table tennis,with Anchal having an influence on her during her early playing career. After winning a match in a state-level under-8 tournament, Batra decided to train under coach Sandeep Gupta who suggested her to switch to Hans Raj Model School where he ran his academy.

Batra turned down many modelling offers as a teenager. When she was 16, she declined a scholarship to train at the Peter KarlssonAcademy in Sweden. She studied at the Jesus and Mary College for a year before dropping out to “concentrate” on table tennis.

In 2011, Batra won the silver medal in the under-21 category of the Chile Open.She represented India at the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Glasgow, where she finished quarterfinalist,as well as the 2014 Asian Games. She won three medals at the 2015 Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships,winning silver in the women’s team event (with Ankita Das and Mouma Das) as well as the women’s doubles event (with Ankita Das) and bronze in the women’s singles event.

Batra won three gold medals at the 2016 South Asian Games, winning the women’s doubles event (with Pooja Sahasrabudhe), mixed doubles event (with Anthony Amalraj) and women’s team event (with Mouma Das and Shamini Kumaresan). Batra was denied a fourth gold medal at the Games by Mouma Das, who defeated her in the final of the women’s singles event.She qualified for the women’s singles event of the 2016 Summer Olympics by winning the South Asia group of the qualification tournament in April 2016.However, her appearance at the 2016 Olympics short-lived, as she lost to Katarzyna Grzybowska of Poland in the first round of the women’s individual event.

Batra led the Indian women’s team to a gold medal win in the final against four-time gold medalists and defending champions Singapore at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. The Singapore women’s table tennis team had never lost in the Commonwealth Games since the sport was inducted in the program in 2002. Batra defeated world number 4 Feng Tianwei as well as Zhou Yihan in India’s 3–1 win in the final.

Batra and Mouma Das won India’s maiden silver medal in the women’s doubles category at the 2018 Commonwealth Games losing to defending champions Feng Tianwei and Yu Mengyu of Singapore in the gold medal clash. Manika Batra became 1st Indian woman to bag a commonwealth table tennis individual gold medal in CWG 2018 by beating Yu Mengyu of Singapore. These games were like dream run for Batra as she won 4 medals in 4 events she was participating out of which 2 are gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze medal.

P V Sindhu – An Olympic Medalist

Blog by : Zainab Suratwala

P V Sindhu – An Olympic Medalist

 

Pusarla Venkata Sindhu or popularly known as PV Sindhu is a professional Indian badminton player who has earned huge fame after winning the silver medal in Rio Olympics 2016. By winning this, she became a youngest Indian woman who won the silver medal in Olympics. After Saina Nehwal, she became the second Indian badminton player to win an Olympic medal. Her father and mother both were the professional volleyball players.

Sporty beginning

Although both her parents were the volleyball players, but Sindhu started playing badminton at an age of 8 and got motivation from Pullela Gopichand’s win in All England Badminton Championship at 2001.

Sindhu then continued her badminton journey with some consistent performances in various national & international tournaments. Some of her notable achievements include; Silver in women’s singles in Iran Fajr International challenge at 2010, and Asia Youth U19 Championship at 2012 and Bronze at the World Championship in year 2012 & 2014.

Hard Core Training

Many would not be aware of her diligence that she puts in the training process. This 19 year old is working out hard with her coach Gopichand from 4.15am daily for last 3 years.

Sindhu scripted history just by becoming first Indian to win 2 end-to-end medals in World Badminton Championships.

Best endorsement for Sindhu is Gopichand’s words regarding her commitment and dedication towards the sport: “Most amazing feature in her game is her never-say-die kind of spirit.”

Her Dedication

PV Sindhu has never yet stopped to look for new challenge to overcome, and her dedicated belief in her abilities has also helped her to go a very long way.

Everything is possible in sport, and in any field, only if we put the hard work and dedication. There must not be any kind of inhibitions when you set your goals. What come may, be focused and you will get there one day.

Awards & Rewards

  • She got honoured by Arjuna Award for the badminton in year 2013. She was also honoured with Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 2016. Both of these are prominent awards that are given to sports person in India.
  • PV Sindhu made history by becoming youngest Indian woman earning the Silver medal in Rio Olympics 2016.
  • In year 2015, Indian Government honoured her with Padma Shri award. This is a fourth biggest civilian honour that is awarded in India.

Diet Plan

Coach of Sindhu, Gopichand totally banned on sugars, sweets, junk foods, and unhealthy food items from her diet. As said sugar may cause inflammation and can spoil your body from the recovery. He told that champion and athlete must follow the ban to get their body fit for the sports.

Daily meal of Sindhu is monitored consistently. Real challenge with PV Sindhu is that her hunger is quite less than the normal. She is provided with the measured and high-calorie nutritious meal each time and then followed with the food supplements. Even, when playing sports she sips on some supplement drinks. This is the high-energy boosting as well as protein drink.