Mayuri Yadav, National level Badminton player is originally from Allahabad. Being from a small town, she has seen great amount of xenophobia that exists inside people from big cities. Crushing the odds, she has won medals for districts and states and is now a promising player in nationals.
Mayuri, an under nineteen player shares a little part of her sports life and her journey with us.
1. What made you choose sports as a career? And why did you specifically choose Badminton?
My father was a sportsman. He always wanted one of his children to do sports. I was never inclined towards studies, so my dad got me admitted in gymnastics at the age of 5. Very soon my family saw that I was interested in sports from that tender age, though it was not decided which sports I would take, but at age of 5, it was clear to me and my family that I would take sports as a career. To answer the question about Badminton, I started playing Badminton just as a hobby when I was 7 years old. And as I was growing & realized that I am getting more interested in this game and in 2010, I won district championship. That was the time I decided that I will take Badminton as a career.
2. You left your home at the age of fifteen, how was it like?
It was class ninth when I left home. At that point in time, my friends were deciding about coaching classes to join and my life took a different turn. I was given a responsibility to look after myself and give my best at my training. Initial months were difficult, I was homesick. But once you see number people of your age, working hard on court, inspiration comes naturally.
3. Tell me how different you feel when you meet your school buddies.
My friends have regular life as teens have, but my case is different. When I meet them, they get awe-strucked by the fact that I have traveled many states of India due to my tournaments. They are intrigued about my life and give lots of praise which is kind of flattering(smiles).
4. How do you manage your regime being a school girl and a sportsperson?
We start our session at 4 a.m. in the morning and the training is rigorous. It becomes impossible for us (practitioners) to attend school after that, we only attend school for two days in week and for that we have to give lot of explanations to the authority. In addition to this, we cannot stress ourselves at studies, our main focus is health and game, so our schedule is always tight. We only get time to study during weekends.
5. Is there anything negative that happened to you that stayed with you for long?
There was a time when I was in Meerut for some tournament, one of the coaches commented on me that I am fat and cannot play much. That was harsh for me. But as I was succeeding at my Badminton matches, people became quiet. But that really hurt me during that phase.
6. What would your advise be to aspiring badminton players?
I would like to advise, one should not get lazy and should be fully committed to the practices. No matter what happens, one should not skip a single minute of daily practice. Each day plays role for shaping your game and then your racket talks during matches.