Gurmehar Kaur Grewal, 15, Archery, Chandigarh
SUCCESS STORY Chandigarh’s first female competitive archer, Grewal, who holds a scholarship under the Khelo India scheme, was selected to be part of the national camp at Aurangabad this year.
OPENING UP Coming from a family that always encouraged her to carve her own path, the young woman was drawn to the game at an early age. “My parents exposed me to several games by the age of five. However, there was something about archery that fascinated me, and I pursued it further,” she says. To begin with, Grewal started practicing at her family-owned farmhouse near Chandigarh. She soon needed proper infrastructure and shifted to Panjab University, Chandigarh campus to continue her training.
AGAINST ALL ODDS Her greatest difficulty has been finding a training ground to nurture her skills. When she started visiting Panjab University, she faced objections and had to stop training at the varsity premises. At this point, her parents set up an academy in Sector 39 with help from a gurudwara’s management committee by convincing the gurudwara to lease the land required to build a range. Today, 18 students, taught by celebrated archer Anurag Kamal— who was part of the 2008 squad that won gold at the South Asian Archery Championship in Jamshedpur—train at the academy.
FOLKS HAVE HER BACK Admitting that it would still take some time for youngsters to take to the game, she says, “Archery is a long-term sport and requires years of dedication.
It also needs quite a lot of financial backing for logistics and training. Things are improving, but there is still a long way to go.”
“I have been lucky to have a great support system but archery is a longterm sport and requires years of dedication. Things are improving but we still have a long way to go.” Gurmehar Kaur Grewal, 15, Archer, Chandigarh