Maybe now that karate is an Olympic sport, the government will support us more: Suzan Shaikh

About five years ago, Suzan Shaikh of Vadodara began learning karate as a form of self-defense. I thought it was important for self-defense, and my family wanted me to learn karate, Suzan shares. But soon, her parents Jahid and Rehana Shaikh discovered that she was very good at it, and Suzan began training with her coaches Abbas Saiyed and Mushira Saiyed. The decision turned out to be a master hit, as Suzan soon began winning medals at the district and state level. Soon, she was also good nationally. Earlier this year, he ranked third in the national level tournament of the Karate Association of India. So far, Suzan has won 22 gold medals in different competitions, which include some international private events.

Thanks to his consistent performances, Suzan now represents India in different prestigious events. Recently, she was the only girl in India to be selected in the under-17 category, representing the country in the +59 kg (black belt) category at the 11th Junior, Cadet and U21 World Championships of the World Karate Federation (WKF) in Chile. Although he did not win a medal at this event (held in the last week of October), Suzan shares: Participating in any international event is a great learning experience, and I am sure it will help me in the future. She will represent India in the South Asian Karate Championship, which will be held in Dhaka from November 7. Excerpts from a chat:

REPRESENTING INDIA DOES NOT MAKE ME NERVOUS

I am seeing this as a great opportunity because not many karate players represent the country in such prestigious events. But I am not nervous and will give my all. Earlier this year, when I won bronze at the national championships in Guwahati, it was a great confidence booster. In addition, karate will be presented for the first time at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. If I continue to have good results at international events (WKF series) over the next few months, there is also the possibility of qualifying for the Olympic Games. It will not be easy to achieve, but I will do my best.

THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO SUPPORT US MORE

At this time, we hardly receive financial support from the government. They have schemes designed to support athletes, but it is not enough. Currently, I receive `4185 per month from the central government, which is almost useless. Perhaps, now that it is an Olympic sport, the government will support us more. Otherwise, things get very difficult. For every tournament we play abroad, we have to manage many expenses on our own. For this particular trip, I am grateful that my school (St. Mary’s School, Gorwa), teachers and supporters helped me financially. PV Sindhu's trip really inspires me, who has accomplished a lot for India thanks to his determination and hard work.

GESTURE MAKE A BALANCE BETWEEN STUDIES AND MY SPORTS

Currently, I am a student of class 12 (Science) and although many people say that it is difficult to strike a balance between studies and sports, I have succeeded. Mathematics is my favorite subject, so I opted for science.

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