“Initially some people did discourage me and my family saying that there is no scope or future in sports, but my friends and family stood by me, encouraging me at each step. They believed me, and that has gotten me this far.”
17-year-old Ankit is no less than a star in the Lakhimpur district of Uttar Pradesh. He is a State-level under-17 champion, and also made it to the quarter-finals of the Nationals.
Ankit hails from a humble background. His father is a peon at a stadium, and earns 10-15000 a month. It is with this income that he sends all four of his children to school. Ankit has 2 brothers and 1 sister, all of who are still studying.
“I had not discovered my passion until recently. I was quite studious and used to love Maths and Science the most. It was when I won a local tournament in Allahabad that I realized I could do more. I kept striving, and participating at higher levels and kept winning. This motivated me to work harder. In fact, choosing to come to a sports academy was the toughest choice. It was the biggest sacrifice, and was totally worth it. I’m glad I made this choice.”
Within 1-2 years of having discovered his passion, Ankit went to a government sports hostel in Allahabad. Here, his coach identified his potential, and encouraged him to go a few steps further to develop and polish his skills. Ankit’s limited means did not allow him to pursue his talent further at that time.
He, however did not give up, and continued practicing in the hostel. It was around this time that Vivek puri, a PT teacher who also used to come to the hostel to play recognized young Ankit’s potential. He took it upon him to mentor the boy, and slowly helped him get into a Private coaching centre.
Here, Ankit could unleash his talents better. He works very hard. His day starts at around 5.30. He trains for fitness from 6am to 8am. Practice starts at 10 am and continues till around 2 in the afternoon, and continues again from 5pm to 8pm.
Despite dedicating around 9 hours to Badminton, he still practices some more if he finds time.
Seeing his passion and dedication, Ankit's trainers and coaches are of the opinion that he could do much more if given the right exposure and resources. Ankit needs some funds so that he can travel more and participate in more championships and tournaments. They want to ensure that he never misses a chance.
“ That’s all I can see: my dream. I want to represent my country at the Olympics. My friends tell me that they are waiting to see me on TV. My parents have done all they could have to help me reach here. My brothers and sisters have made sacrifices so that I could follow my passion. I have to do this. I have to win, for all of them.”
Ankit’s eyes gleam bright as he speaks of his dream. His voice and heart filled with passion.
This 17-year old’s commitment is incredible! Help a promising player make it to the Olympics.