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In conversation with Saniya Shaikh: Skeet Shooter from LSR

Saniya Shaikh is a 2nd year student studying in Lady Shri Ram College for Women. But she is no ordinary girl; she represents the Indian contingent in Skeet Shooting. DU Beat was able to catch an interview with this inspiring sports person.

At what age did you start shooting skeet and what got you into the sport?

I was 13 years old when I started shooting skeet. Being born in a family where my grandfather, dad and all my uncles are national level shooters, the sport runs in my blood. Growing up with guns and accompanying my dad to the shooting range in competitions was a part of my childhood. I got into this sport because of my dad. He always tells me, “I prayed to the Almighty Allah to bless me with a daughter as my first child and I wanted her to be a daughter.” So it was all because of my dad’s dream that I got into this beautiful sport because he saw this dream for me even before I was born and I thank him from the bottom of my heart for introducing me to this sport.

What all competitions have you participated in?

I have participated in more than 30 world cups, world championships, Asian shooting competitions, Commonwealth shooting and a few Grand Prix.

Tell us a little about your daily routine and training.

I get up at 4 in the morning and then train for 8-9 hours, which gets a little difficult since my training hours clash with my college timings. In the evening I hit the gym and exercise for 2 hours as I am a gym freak.

Given that it is an unconventional sport for Indian kids, did you face any problems on your way to becoming a professional player?

The best thing I love about Shooting is that it is an unconventional sport. It’s different and interesting. A girl like me would have never settled for something conventional (laughing) or less interesting than shooting. Also, there has always been a huge support from my family and that’s why I never felt any problem.

Who had the greatest impact on your shooting career?

My father! He is a real inspiration to me. I am pretty sure he would have gone through a tough time training a kid like me. So now, I am going to get him an Olympic Gold!

In your spare time, what else do you like to do?

I love listening to music. I am also learning to play a guitar at the moment. Moreover, I am a big fan of Usain Bolt and hence, I read about him a lot. I have got two pets and I like to pamper them. I also love horse-riding.

Did you receive any aid from DU to further promote you as a player?

All I can say is in India we give importance to a very few sports like cricket and tennis but sports like shooting do not get the same kind of recognition and support. However, thing are changing gradually and as a shooter, I will do whatever I can to make it a more appreciated and recognised sport in India.

What is the best advice that you can give to a young aspiring Shooter?

I would just like to say that every shot is the first shot. Shoot as if you are never going to shoot again. Do not think about the misses. We all miss, we are all humans. Show the world that you are the best!




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