Nine-year-old Puneite Tara Shah won the first U-10 Maharashtra Sub-junior State Selection Tournament in Nagpur on Sunday. Aspiring to be the biggest badminton player of the country, this quiet class 4 student from Vidya Valley School finds her inspiration in famous shuttler Saina Nehwal.
"I don't even remember when I took up badminton. My mum says that one fine day I watched a whole match on television and that was the moment I decided to become a shuttler. Since then I started practising and now with proper guidance of my coach, Varun Khanwalkar sir, I feel that I am going on a right track," said the Tara.
But as they say success is followed by hard work; and true to that Tara's day starts much earlier than the children of her age. She does her physical training from 6am to 7am every morning before heading for the school. Her mother Gauri specially mentions the school for giving her kid a few hours of discount everyday from her classes. Now, 2-3 hours of practice has made Tara an expert in the 'backhand cross drop' shot that she was not very fond of earlier.
Talking about Tara's success, her coach and bandminton player Varun Khanwilkar says, "Yes, I feel she is on a right track; so right that she makes her co-players feel that they had not practised well. Generally, every sportsman keeps a diary about his daily practice and experiences of the field. I suggest every kid in my institute to read Tara's diary. The minute details she writes about her everyday practice is something no kid of her age can even understand. Sometimes, I feel she is too young to be that dedicated and mature with her technique. I am sure within the next few years, Tara will reach the top spot in Indian ranks."