18-year-old athlete sprints her way to SAI center: News Kidda


Tribune News Service

Deepankar Sharda

Chandigarh, August 4

18-year-old local athlete Simran Kaur has a humble background and has been selected in the National Center of Excellence (NCOE), Sports Authority of India (SAI), Patiala, to pursue her dream of becoming a star sprinter. She may be the first 100m and 200m specialist to be awarded the NCOE after clearing trials conducted by the SAI.

Simran, whose father is a Home Guards volunteer with the Chandigarh Police Force, is the eldest of three children, all achievers. Her 14-year-old younger sister is a state shot put champion and youngest brother is a long jump champion. Simran has represented the city in nine nationals and has won several awards.

‘Getting admission to NCOE is a big thing’

There was no plan to become a professional athlete. My father forced me to join the Sector 7 sports complex for a physical activity. Since then I haven’t looked back. Getting access to the NCOE is a big thing. — Simran Kauro

“There was no plan to become a professional athlete. My father forced me to join the Sector 7 sports complex for a physical activity. Since then I haven’t looked back. Getting access to the NCOE is a big thing. It allows me to practice with top Indian sprinters in a good and professional environment,” said Simran.

However, this success does not come overnight. Simran’s father, the sole breadwinner of the family, had to give up many things in order for her eldest daughter to get everything needed to become a successful person.

“He (her father Gurpeet Singh) had done a lot for me. I remember the time when I was asked to follow a proper and planned diet, which my father somehow did for me. However, I am very fortunate to get help from Birinder Singh Sidhu, who now helps me to get diet and equipment, and also from my coach Maninder Singh, who always motivated me to overcome such hurdles,” said Simran.

NCOEs across the country have been established to provide specialized training to athletes through state-of-the-art infrastructure and play facilities, sports science backup, individualized nutrition prescribed by trained nutritionists, and general oversight under top coaches, qualified support staff and high-performance directors.

“It is a great opportunity for me to continue my career. I will be joining the NCOE in the coming days,” she said.

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