Girls belonging to the economically weaker section are hitting the badminton shuttlecocks to shine. Playing from six years, the two badminton girls from Government Senior Secondary School, Cemetery Road are aiming to represent India one day.
Daughter of a tea stall owner, Neha Rani is pursuing 10+2 in arts as well as setting her mark in the field of badminton. Rani has been playing badminton from last six years and has won many medals in zonal, district and state level tournaments.
Continuously holding the first position in Punjab schools zonal badminton tournament, Rani recently defeated a player from a Ludhiana private school at the zonal tournament. Last year, she has bagged second position at inter-school badminton tournament at district level. She won third position at state level and second position at Open Punjab Badminton Championship in 2014.
“I couldn’t go for nationals in 2014 due to some personal reasons but this time I will surely participate at national level championship,” she said.
Rani inherited the skills from her mother and her maternal uncle who themselves are badminton players. “I devote two hours in the morning and three hours after the school at Shastri Hall, Guru Nanak Stadium under the guidance of coach Sandeep Kumar,” she said.
Rani has planned to do bachelor in arts after her 10+2 and get training at National Institute of Sports, Hyderabad so that she can represent the country as her role model Saina Nehwal.
Another student of the Government Senior Secondary School, Bandana Mourya is a state level badminton player. Her father is a group D government employee at sports department. Along with studying 10+2 in Arts, Mourya is a part time badminton coach with a private academy. She devotes four hours in the evening at Ace sports academy, where she trains other players and practices herself. “My parents and brother motivate me to reach heights and set a mark in the badminton sport”, she said.
Playing from six years, Mourya has won second position at district level last year playing doubles with Rani. “After 10+2, I will pursue bachelors in physical education and will continue my badminton training to win medals for my country”, Mourya said.
Principal Anup Passi said that to motivate such players, school will provide these players with kits and all other facilities. “If the things will not be under our provision, we will seek the help of non- governmental organisations,” he said.
Passi said that there is no physical training instructor (PTI) since last five years and no diploma in physical education (DPE) from last one-and-halfyear. “Despites odds, the players are defeating the players are defeating private schools, where students get each and every facility. I congratulate them for their success,” he said.