Champion swimmer Poncha now hopes to make it big in golf
After beating adversity to becomea champion swimmer, Rehan Poncha now wants to make it big in another sport - golf - hoping to play amateur qualifiers from next year before turning professional.
After having proved his mettle in the pool, the 28-year-old Poncha has been focusing on golf for the past two years.
Poncha wants to do what very few sportspersons have done -- become an Olympian in a completely new sport.
"I stopped competitive swimming two years ago, but I always always used to miss that competitive feeling, that rush of racing.
"I used to get very nervous, I used to get panic attacks, because for 20 years of my life I had one schedule. Now all of a sudden, it is like somebody turns off the switch and says now you are free, I enjoyed that for about a week or so, but then I had this feeling of emptiness and void," the Arjuna awardee told PTI here.
Having taken the plunge, Poncha hopes to play amateur qualifiers from next year.
"I don't want to rush, I can play amateur qualifiers now also because I have come up to 11 handicap. Nobody is rushing me, nobody is putting any kind of pressure on me. I am doing this for my own satisfaction.
"I have taken it up as a challenge, I want to do as well in golf as I did in the pool. This is my dream, I don't know if that will happen. I started at 26 but I know I have 20 years of sport experience in me. I just want it very badly (to do well at golf) and soon want to be a single handicap golfer, so that's my first step.
"Four years from now, may be I hope to turn professional after I have played enough on amateur circuit."
Asked how his passion for golf began, he revealed that someone from his family suggested that he should learn a new sport for the fun of it, and soon found himself in the thick of it.
"I just got addicted to it. It drove me mad," he said.
Initially, he trained at the Pune golf course, and for the last two years has been taking part in club tournaments, even winning some trophies.