KOCHI: When Shruthi K P claimed her maiden state badminton crown in Kannur around four years ago, she was living a dream so passionately cherished for long by her father, who had yearned to become a sportsman.
She was only 10 when she first held the racket, albeit with reluctance, at the insistence of her father at a badminton court in Kozhikode.
Though it was her father, an ardent badminton fan, who instilled in her the desire to become a shuttler, the ambition to become one was hers too. “I was not very sure what I was going to do when I took the racket. My father gave me all the inspiration.
“He is a great motivator. Sometimes, I think if I would not have been a shuttler if he hadn’t asked me to play. Everyone may have such a story to tell. For me, my father is the reason I a badminton player today,” Shruthi says.“Once I started playing, the game seemed easy to me. My physique has helped me play with better flexibility in court,” adds Shruthi, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree at St Teresa’s College, Ernakulam.
Shruthi, who partnered with Farha Methar of Thiruvananthapuram, won the title in the junior national ranking double’s championship 2014 held in Bengaluru.
This follows a host of other national feats. In 2013, she was the runner-up in the same event held in Bengaluru. Shruthi again emerged champion in the 13th United India Insurance All-India Junior Ranking Tournament in the under-19 category.
Apart from this, she represented India in the Badminton Asia Youth Under-19 championship, and the Junior World Championship 2014 held at Alor Setar, Malaysia.
Shruthi, who works hard to achieve her goals, says she wants to become an Olympian. “An Olympic medal is my dream. I know if I can really work hard and improve in some areas where I often make mistakes, I can grow to a required level in badminton,” she says.
The first thing a sportsperson requires is confidence, and then the ability to convert the confidence into a winning formula,” says Shruthi, who now trains at a badminton academy in Kochi.
Despite a busy schedule with tournaments and practice, she says she has seldom failed to miss any examination and balances her studies and matches well. “I have never failed in any examination. If I miss any class, the teachers and my friends help me make up for it,” she says.
Shruthi, who says it is difficult to continue in sports without a lot of money, is expecting sponsors. “I have never received any sponsorship offer from anyone. All the expenses for participating inthe matches were borne by my father. It will be of great help if I get funded by someone,” she says.