Saina Nehwal has been a role model to young women over the last few years. Her popularity quotient went several notches higher after her Olympic feat in London last year, when she became India’s first shuttler to win a medal at the quadrennial event.
Saina’s parents have made huge sacrifices to give her the best. Saina said, “Thanks to my parents who simply followed the actions directed by the almighty, I’ve got all the fame in badminton. Why they moved from Hisar to Hyderabad, only God knows. I did not know what hardship meant as I worked on the instructions of my coaches with full discipline.”
She spoke about her early days in the sport. So what obstacles she encountered on the way? It was her family, Saina said, that faced a lot of difficulties. They let her concentrate on her game. “I was excellent in studies but my parents thought I could try a bit of sports. So, it was badminton and I landed up at the (SM) Arif sir’s academy and subsequently had stints with Goverdhan Reddy sir and finally joined Gopi sir.”
She said that she did not face discrimination in her early days.