At the age of 12 Asav Kumar has a lot on his plate. The youngster, on the cusp of teens, is busy juggling tennis, swimming and studies.
In yet another feather in his cap, talented Asav, who recently won three gold medals in the Chandigarh sub-junior and junior swimming championship, is among the 20 players all set to be sponsored by the Punjab government for training in tennis.
Under the scheme, Punjab will release funds to the tune of Rs 3.5 lakh annually to the Chandigarh Lawn Tennis Association (CLTA) flagship programme ‘Chandigarh Academy for Rural Tennis’ (CHART) for Asav’s studies, training, diet, travelling and equipment.
Giving details, Asav’s elated father Praveen Kumar said that the programme started this month and the first installment of funds has already been released. “The trials took place in March this year, and Asav was picked because of his past performance and talent. The scheme is for three years and can be extended after a threeyear review,” Praveen said.
Asav is currently ranked 12th in the All India Tennis Association’s (AITA) ranking chart for under-12 players.
Besides Asav, two more players from Punjab, namely Sarabjot and Manveer Singh have joined CLTA.
The Haryana government is also sponsoring 10 kids under the same scheme for the last two years.
Asav is a student of class 7th at Strawberry Field World School, Sector 26.
Ever since the youngster took up swimming and tennis, a helping hand and lots of encouragement from the parents has seen Asav make a steady and assured progress in both academics and sports.
“He is good in studies and it all comes down to time management and keeping focus on things in hand,” his father added.
Asav, who trains under swimming coach Gurcharan Singh at at Panjab University centre, will be concentrating on swimming for the next few months.
In the recently concluded Chandigarh sub-junior and junior swimming championship, organised by UT sports department at all weather swimming pool in Sector 23, Asav won a gold medal each in boys’ under-12 50m freestyle, 50m breaststroke and 100m freestyle.
“It’s a good opportunity for me to concentrate more on my game. It also gives me an added advantage of learning from coaches and planning my tennis activity calendar,” Asav said.
As far as academics are concerned his father Praveen added that his son has always been good in studies.
“He is doing wonderfully well in studies. He is getting good marks in all the subjects so I have no complains as he is managing well,” Praveen added.
CLTA director coaching and development Gajendra Singh said, “Asav is a good prospect. The other two-Sarbajot and Manveer-who have joined are still new to the game but they fit the bill in terms of the fact that they have athletic background and will surely pick up the game over the next few months.”