Navjeet Kaur of Amritsar made the state proud by bagging a silver medal in discus throw and a bronze in shot put in the Asian Junior Athletics Championships 2014 (under-20) held in Taipei City from June 12-15. Sharing her experience, Navjeet, who is a student of Khalsa College for Women, Amritsar and is coached by her father Jaspal Singh, said her hard work has paid off. “I bagged silver medal in discus throw with a distance of 53.66 meters, while in shot put, I won the bronze with a distance of 14.99 metres. Winning medals in Asian Junior Athletics Championships was a proud moment for me. I always had a dream of wearing the India colours and stand on the podium with a medal.
Now I have qualified for IAAF World Junior Championships 2014 as well. My next target is senior championship, with the ultimate focus on 2016 Olympics,” she said.
Talking about the exposure she got during the championship in Taipei, Navjeet said though it was good, Indian women were lagging far behind their other Asian counterparts in physique and stamina. “This is because their diet is rich and they train with the best equipments under best facilities. We do not even have a physiotherapist with us.
If others can afford two physicians, at least we deserve one while representing the country,” rued Navjit, who is being trained by her father since she was seven year old.
“My journey till yet hasn’t been easy. I am daughter of sportspersons -- my father is a coach of discus and shot put and my mother, Kuldeep Kaur, was an international hockey player (1986 Asian games gold medalist). They wake me up at 5 am. I practice for three hours each, in the morning and in the evening. I had to sacrifice a lot as I have to be on a strict diet,” said Navjit, adding that her father prepares her diet.
“He gives me a protein diet in the morning, a balanced diet in the afternoon and homemade juices in the evening, along with fish/chicken and boiled vegetables,” she said.
Navjeet also advised the families in Punjab to encourage and support their girls who wished to join sports. “Bring up the daughters in the same way as you bring up your sons. Trust them completely and send them confidently to the sports camps. They can bring honour to the family and to the nation,” she said.
On her achievement, Dr SK Mahal, principal, Khalsa College for Women, said, “Navjeet is a bright girl and the father-daughter duo has brought laurels to our college and state. Her father being her coach is her strength. We would definitely provide her with the best amenities and support her diet financially.”