Hand amputated, this table tennis champ is now a super coach
Having started off as a school level champ when she was five, Nikita was named the best coach at the first UP State Ranking Table Tennis Tournament in Lucknow.lucknow Updated: Jul 03, 2018 14:23 IST
Hockey player Mir Ranjan Negi went on to become a great coach after he was humiliated for missing a goal. His turnaround was such an inspiration that his story was made into a blockbuster ‘Chak De’.
Those who know paddler Nikita Kumar, insist her story is no less inspiring.
Having started off as a school level champ when she was five, Nikita was on Sunday named the best coach at the first UP State Ranking Table Tennis Tournament in Lucknow.
This, despite the fact, that her left hand had to be amputated after a road accident in 2012.
While the tragedy could have torn apart anybody’s spirit, in less than two years Nikita went on to play for India at the Asian Para Games at Incheon in TT9-10 category in 2014.
“Table tennis is my life. No tragedy could have stopped me from playing it,” she said on the sidelines of the event where she was honoured on Sunday.
Grooming the batch of 40-odd kids at Ramprastha TT Academy in Ghaziabad, she never lost her spirit.
“See, life goes on and it was my body wisdom which inspired me to come out of the shadow of sorrow and pain and make a fresh start,” says Nikita, while adding, “I always wanted to play at the Asian Games but ended up playing Asian Para Games. But then such is life.”
“It all started off with a win at Manav Sthali School Silver Jubilee Table Tennis Tournament in New Delhi when I was a kid. It was opium for me. It ensured that I pursued table tennis even when my hands were amputated,” says the girl who has played skates, cager and a few other sports in schools.
“But, table tennis still remains my first love. I find myself most happy when I teach the finer points of the game to my 40-odd trainees,” she says.
“It is true that eight hours of training of my kids keep me busy, but even in the remaining 16 hours I keep thinking only about the game and the players. So it’s a full time engagement for me,” said Nikita, who won her first title at an international Para TT tourney at Bangkok in 2013.
“I always wanted to give back something to the game so along with my sister chose to start an academy in 2014,” she said.
“There is a big boom to the sport after India’s success at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast, and I am very sure of Indians doing well at the upcoming Asian Games too,” she said.
First Published: Jul 03, 2018 14:23 IST