Jalandhar, sep[ember 3
Abhinav Gandhi, a Class XII (commerce) student of Apeejay School here, has made the city proud by being the first-ever boy from Jalandhar who was selected in India’s soft tennis team a few months ago and recently went for the international soft tennis championship that was held in South Korea from August 26 to 29.
Abhinav faced a strong competition from the teams of Korea, Chinese Taipei, Pakistan, Thailand and Mongolia. However, fighting hard, Abhinav won five out of the 10 matches he played. Not satisfied with his performance completely, he still feels proud that he had played the international series and hopes for winning the trophy for India next time.
Being the district and state-level championship winner in tennis, he holds an excellent record at the national level. He was the winner of the national championship that was held in Panjab University, Chandigarh, last month. He is now gearing up for participation in the upcoming World Championship of soft tennis that will take place next year abroad.
“This wasn’t my passion since childhood, but I am learning tennis for the past three years. After battling hard in tennis for around three years, I suddenly shifted towards soft tennis and it’s hardly nine months that I have learnt soft tennis. Even it’s unbelievable for me that in a short span of nine months, I got selected in the Indian soft tennis team and had recently been back from Korea,” said Abhinav, son of businessman Manoj Gandhi.
“Though I tried to convince Abhinav many times to drop tennis and take up other games such as cricket or football for which facilities are available in the city, he never agreed. Jalandhar has no facility for tennis. Children interested in tennis face many difficulties as the Government of India only recognises and aids the sport of cricket,” said Abhinav’s father.
“Also, I have to bear all expenses as no incentives are given for this game. Even for the international championship, I arranged funds for his trip to Korea from my pocket. But my child’s happiness is everything to me,” he said.
“The game has changed my life. It has improved my behaviour and cultivated modesty in me. I recommend all my friends playing tennis to definitely try a hand in soft tennis too, as this game has a broader scope,” said Abhinav. My family has been very supportive, it appreciates my every effort and achievements, but it’s sad that no acknowledgment is given to tennis by the state government and no scholarships or concessions have been offered to me,” he claimed.