THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: On Monday, her school showered Nimisha with unlimited love. A token for the 15-year-old’s small, yet proud, feats which prompted the school to list her as the best outgoing student this year.
Nimisha was one of the five-member team from the State which got selected for the 57th National School Games in the lawn tennis event. She was one of the two girls from the capital to make it to the team and the lone one from a government school.
At a modest School Day function held at Peroorkada Girls Higher Secondary School, Nimisha basked in the glory of the moment and expressed her desire to return to the school for the plus-two course. As simple as it might sound, continuing her studies or for that matter pursuing her passion in tennis is a challenging sport for the girl. Like the majority of students in the school, Nimisha is also from a humble family - her father Babykumar is a mason and mother Maya a housemaid.
‘’It is my parents’ strong wish to see me pursue my sport that has taken me to the national level. Without their support, I would not have achieved anything,’’ she says. And adds, ‘’not to mention the ample support my school gave me.’’
When the school authorities came to know that Nimisha was part of the under-17 team representing the State in the Nationals, they knew she wanted more than just a pat on her shoulder. ‘’We teachers got together and along with the PTA members pooled in money and bought her a racquet, a tennis shoe and a sports dress,’’ says Asha, Physical Education teacher in the school.
It was three years back, when the Tennis Club announced a free coaching camp for students, that Nimisha took to tennis. Later, when she began to make leaps and bounds in the sport, her parents decided to spare their hard-earned money for her practice. Sometimes, the school teachers helped. But fee on an hourly-basis has become a big burden for the family which they, however, for Nimisha’s sake, are not willing to cut down on.
Though the team lost to a better opponent, the journey to Delhi to attend the National Games from December 31 to January 5 and participation in the event has given the girl a new confidence in herself. ‘’I want to continue the sport and later join the Army,’’ Nimisha says.
The PTA gifted a memento to Nimisha on Monday and a small cash prize
as part of a school endowment. As if to say, keep dreaming.
‘’Who knows, one day she shall make the State proud,’’ Asha is all hopes.