She is a girl from Delhi who is completely inspired by her father and has added feather in her cap by representing herself at Asian Games in Japan. This young Badminton player is a college student in Lucknow, who is determined to reach great heights in sports. Taking grit and determination as her companions, Akanshi Baliyan shares her journey of the heights she has achieved in her Badminton career.
Q) What made you choose sports as a career? Was it a natural choice?
A) Well, I feel sports is in my blood as my father himself is a wrestling coach. So, I was inclined towards it since an early age. I started playing from Delhi and I played my first tournament which was of under thirteen category and I won that. I have also been a part of Asian games in 2012.
Q) Tell us where have you been training since you started Badminton? When did you start?
A) I started training from Delhi itself, but in the year 2013 I came to Babu Banarasi Das Badminton Academy in Lucknow. There I have been trained for nearly three years and have escalated my career by getting trained there. Right now I am taking my training from an academy in Hyderabad.
Q) As you said that an injury can take a toll in player’s career, tell us about your experience. Were you injured ever?
A) I got injured last year and that made me go to ten months bed rest. A player irrespective of game, is used to do daily practice and lot of work. Sitting at one place and waiting for healing was the toughest thing that I went through. Frustration and irritation were at its peak during that time. I needed someone to lift me up every time I waned to move. It felt like I have been crippled for rest of my life and it is the end of the world. On the other hand, it was the test of time and that made me learn to have patience and grit. I learnt big lessons of life during that period that changed me as a person.
Q) How do you manage your time between studies and tournaments?
A) There was a time when I have been in quagmire regarding my management between studies and tournament. When I was giving my board exams, before one week of my main exams my principal asked me to give my preliminary before boards. At that time, I only had seven days to prepare for my board exams and giving preliminary was like killing all time. I pleaded a lot to her but she clearly said that she would provide me with board exam roll number only if I will give my prelims. My whole world got toppled but somehow I managed. We have tough training schedules and managing studies in between becomes a daunting task for us, but at the end of the day we are players and we find some way to manage things.
Q) Have you ever experienced any kind of nepotism in sports field?
A) I cannot completely say that there is no nepotism in sports but talking for myself, I have been fortunate that I did not experience or went through it.
Q) What is the maximum height you want to attain in your sports career? What are your future plans?
A) Every player has a dream to qualify for Olympics and given the hype that is associated with Badminton these days, the opportunity for girls is tremendous. Apart from that I want to be like my father. He was international wrestling champion and I feel my little achievements are nothing in front of his. Apart from this, I want to be successful and independent as a person.