Meet Abdul, a 16-year-old youngster who hails from Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh. His sport of choice? Badminton.
Abdul has always been interested in sports- he used to play cricket as a child and started playing badminton when he was 12. He says he used to play with his friends on the street until his father saw this and told him to get formal training at the stadium near their house.
Goverdhan Reddy, his coach, agrees. Goverdhan is one of the most respected names in the Indian badminton fraternity and has been training Abdul for the last six months. "Abdul has an ideal frame for a badminton player- he's lean and his strokes are deep and powerful," says Govardhan.
Abdul has represented Andhra Pradesh five times so far- and has won 4 medals- three bronze and one silver medal.
Abdul works hard every day. His day starts at 6 AM when he has his physical training for 2 hours. This is followed by a one and a half hour gym session. His morning on court session lasts 3 hours, from 10:30 AM to 2:00 PM. An evening training session lasts from 4 PM to 7 PM. Abdul is managing this along with his studies. His study sessions last until 9 PM in the evening, after his training. He has special permission from his principal- Jilani Basha to attend college only to write his exams. Jilani is a formal international badminton umpire, who supports Abdul completely.
How can you help?
Rs 10,000 for accommodation and food per month, including
Rs 2000 for stringing for racquets.
His father takes loans to meet these expenses. Syed does not discuss finances with his son, for fear that this would contribute to additional stress on Abdul. His coach echoes the sentiment.
Sports as a career option is expensive in India. Players from a weak economic background find it hard to support their passion, despite immense talent. This talent eventually falls by the wayside.
Your contribution can enable Abdul to make a name for India in international badminton. Support Abdul in this endeavor!