A university canteen drives the Aurangabad shooter towards success

GUWAHATI: Harshada Nithave The parents established a small canteen in a university in Aurangabad , Maharashtra , with the sole objective of giving it a good education.

But Harshada fell in love with shooting, sounding the alarm, at first, in the house. Her father was worried about the expensive nature of the sport and tried to dissuade her.

The brazen girl, however, practiced silently and won gold among citizens between schools. The parents had no choice but to support her, working harder in the canteen and diverting all her earnings to her shooting.

On Saturday, Harshada rewarded them with a bronze at the 10m U-21 mixed air gun team event at the Khelo India Youth Games Here in Guwahati. She, of course, had annexed multiple medals before in several tournaments, underlining her talent and ambition.

I had gone to watch shooting at an academy in Aurangabad along with my friends. On a lark, I joined the academy on a trial basis, she revealed, talking about the start of her journey.

After only six months of practice, I won gold in interscholastic nationals and felt that I could take the sport seriously. Initially, my father was not interested because it was an expensive game. But once I started winning, he has never prevented me from practicing the sport, said the 19-year-old after starring in the individual 10-meter air gun event.

Harshada's mother narrated the challenges she and her husband faced to provide shooting equipment.

My husband and I have faced many challenges to support our daughter's passion. But we are happy to have supported her, giving her all the equipment she needs. Our biggest dream is to see Harshada become an Olympic medalist and that is why we are working even harder, Shraddha Nithave said.

The Maharashtra athlete has won four gold and one silver in international tournaments, including gold in the ISSF Junior World Cup in 2016 and silver in the ISSF Junior World Cup in 2019. With the infinite support of her parents, Harshada is on her way to complete not just her own dream, but that of her parents as well.