Sania Mirza says, “India has accepted female athletes but still has miles to go”

Sania Mirza became the only Indian sportswoman in the history of Lawn Tennis, to win a grand slam tournament. She started her tennis career in 2003 at the AP Tourism Hyderabad Open.

The champ has won six Grand Slam titles and many more to come. She is a recipient of Arjuna Award (2004), Padma Shri (2006), Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna (2015), Padma Bhushan (2016), Global Icon of the Year at 2016 and NRI of the Year Award (2016) and is the first Indian to be chosen for Fed Cup Heart Award 2020.
The tennis star recently talked on a variety of issues including the role of parent and the attitude of coaches towards female players during a webinar coordinated by the All India Tennis Association and the Sports Authority of India (SAI).   

Sania felt a great sense of pride in sports stars in India outside cricket. Things have changed for women but according to the tennis champ, we have a long way to go before we arrive at the moment that young girls will take up boxing gloves or a badminton racquet out of the conventional. It should become a gradual progression and it will surely take a couple of ages for sports to be viewed as a normal profession for women in our nation.   

When Sania was asked regarding, why young ladies are not able to take up sports as a career, she expressed that there are profound social issues; sport in this side of the world doesn’t come normally to parents. Most parents desire to see their kids become medical professionals, attorneys, educators but not a sports person. 
However, things have progressively changed during the last 20-25 years. “Even after when I accomplished a great deal in tennis, questions were asked like, when will I have a baby?” Mostly the society views a woman’s life is incomplete until she has a child. “There are more profound social issues inserted in our general public and it will take a couple of more ages to dispose of those issues,” Sania asserted.   Reacting to Suresh Sonchalam, the executive of AITA’s coach training program, Sania said, “I have confronted plenty of obstacles in my profession, however, with solid support from my family proved to be the root of my fruitful success.
The 33-year-old tennis star also advised coaches not to put extreme pressure on young players, saying the key factor is to strike a balance between correction and encouragement.  

There is a greater need to be more sensible when coaches train girl players as they are still discovering themselves. What’s more, in adolescents, it turns out to be significant and throughout their lives due to hormones changes keep occurring in their bodies, she included.   I was fortunate to be born to parents, who never cared about social pressures like what will people say.

My folks never disheartened me regardless of whether I lost a match. The key to my success is competitiveness. I was constantly aggressive, wouldn’t fret losing a couple of matches or committing errors at the beginners’ level. The goals were always bigger, Sania asserted.

  Article Credit: The New Indian Express/India Today/Hindustan Times  
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