ATTRITION IN THE TIME OF TRUMP
Arsh Singh Saini, 21, Soccer player, Chandigarh
SUCCESS STORY Currently a goalkeeper for the professional league team Minerva Punjab in the Hero I-League, Saini started his career by bagging a spot in the prestigious Elite Academy of the All India Football Federation at the age of 16.
HIS PLAYING FIELD Saini's love for the game stems not too far from home. His father was a former goalkeeper for Jagatjit Cotton & Textile Football Club (JCT FC) team for 12 years. “He is my first coach. During his time at JCT, the squad won the Federation Cup and the Durand Cup. He is also responsible for inspiring me to become a goalkeeper,” Saini says.
SPORTS AS A CAREER Not everybody manages to come from a family of sportspersons, and while Saini always had family support, he believes that sports is now widely gaining acceptance across the country. “People are certainly becoming more open towards the idea of being a sportsperson or having one in the family,” says Saini.
ROADBLOCKS The young player has been battling injuries and illnesses for a while now. “When was time to represent my country, like in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup in 2015, I was detected with jaundice and I stopped playing for five months. I injured my ankle in a training match last season, and could play only three matches." But a real sportsperson will not let all this hold him back and he says, "I want to make a name for myself in the international circuit. I hope my dedication pays off.” “The recent bout of illhealth won't bog me down. I want to make a name for myself in the international circuit.” Arsh Singh Saini, Soccer player