Ashmita Chaliha is slowly becoming a household name, after all, being selected for Asian Games is no small feat. But who is this young player from Assam? We dig a little deeper and find out more about this straight-forward, hard-working and polite badminton player who brings her A-game every time she enters the court.
She got her first lesson in badminton when she was in class 2. ‘When I was a kid, I was interested in all kinds of sports and participated in all school sports activities like sack race, hurdles, etc. I had a competitive spirit and that’s why my parents encouraged me to take up badminton coaching in the indoor stadium near my house.’
Her father is a businessman and her mother is working at International Hospital Guwahati. She also has an older sister. ‘My father has been a constant driving force and has dedicated most of his time in ensuring that I can give my best—starting from my exercise, gym, long practice hours—correcting me and helping me perfect my game. He has been my guide as well as my critic. My mother looks after my diet as well as my studies and all my other needs. My sister is also a big support. She is always there as a friend, she often accompanies me to the gym as well as for tournaments to cheer me up. It’s because of them that I have been able to participate in tournaments across the country and abroad as well.’
Passionate about the game, she is not afraid of sweating it out on the court. ‘The only challenge for me is facing senior players because I have to match their level of experience and expertise. But I am confident of my skills and I know that I can rise up to any challenge that comes my way.’ Her inspiration is Lee Chong Wei, a Malaysian Chinese professional badminton player.
Although Ashmita follows a routine to stay focussed on her game, she also understands the need to relax. So, in her free time, she indulges in photography, eating out, listening to music and playing with her dog.
By Meeta Borah