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Sport a life changer for Faridabad school dropout Sapna Kumari

A year after dropping out of school, Sapna Kumari is seriously thinking of pursuing sports as a hobby.

other sports Updated: Nov 10, 2017 22:03 IST
Navneet Singh
Navneet Singh
Hindustan Times, Faridabad
Sports,Karni Singh Shooting Ranges,shooting
Sapna Kumari doing dry practice with a dumbbell to polish her shooting skills.(HT Photo)

A year ago, 15-year-old Sapna Kumari, a school dropout, was contemplating doing odd jobs to supplement the family’s income. That’s changed, and sport has had a role to play.

After qualifying for the upcoming Nationals through the ongoing zonal qualifying event at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges, she plans to pursue the sport with vigour.

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Scoring 341 out of 400, the Haryana shooter has earned a ticket to participate in the youth category of the national meet, which starts from December 11 in Thiruvananthapuram.

On qualifying for her first major event, Sapna said, “There were some anxious moments but it was a good lesson.”

The North Zone qualifier was her second competition in three months, and the progress in a span of six months is proof of her determination to lead a better life.

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Living in rented accommodation near Faridabad, Sapna’s family does not have access to basic amenities like clean drinking water.

With the parents earning very little, pursuing sport was a luxury, and led Sapna to leave school. But she dreamt of playing with kids her age group whenever she went past the local sports club.

A chance meeting with former international shooter Shimon Sharif helped Sapna gain access to a weapon, and things changed for the better.

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Sapna was a quick learner. “She grasped the basics and followed the regimen more religiously than others,” Sharif told Hindustan Times.

Though focused, she was mocked by friends and elders for pursuing a sport associated with the elite.

“There were distractions but sport influenced her outlook. The progress has been encouraging. Hopefully, through hard work she will achieve a lot more in the coming days,” said Sharif.

Sapna’s next target is the Nationals. “My aim is to stay focused,” she said.

First Published: Nov 10, 2017 22:03 IST