Born with a single arm this 22- year para – badminton player has always been an example of immense determination and hard work for every aspiring athlete. Hailing from a small village named Sagare in Khanapur taluka of Belgaum District, Arti has left no stone unturned in creating an opportunity of every difficulty.
Arti started her sporting career as a runner in 2006, but had to quit running due to an injury. The process of exploring newer avenues introduced her to Badminton in 2009. She was fascinated by the game and decided to train herself to be the best Badminton player. She won her first Bronze in ‘The National Badminton Competition’ in 2011 at Bangalore and then on there was no looking back. Her first International participation was in the HULIC-DAIHATSU Japan-Para Badminton International 2017 at Tokyo followed by The Asian Youth Para Games Dubai 2017 where she won Silver in the Mixed Doubles category and Bronze at the Victor Denmark Para-Badminton 2018 presented by Danisa.
She went on to play many International competitions and win a Bronze medal in the women’s singles at the Uganda Para Badminton International in April 2019.She further attended various tournaments like TOTAL BWF Para Badminton World Championship, the Thailand, China and Denmark International Championships but could not make it to the podium.
There is more to Arti’s success than sheer hard work and determination. Constant support from family and friends has always been her greatest strength. Arti belongs to a humble background and her parents have struggled to bare her her training and International travel expenses. Arti recalls that ‘My father took loans and my mother sold her jewellery to fund my training and travels. My younger sister, Apeksha gave up her Kabaddi dream so that I can perceive my dream. My family has always supported and encouraged me to chase my dreams.’
Arti has paved way through all the challenges coming her way and in this endeavor she has found constant support and inspiration from her coach Mr. Sunil Dewang and physiotherapist Dr. Sandeep Bhagwat.
Arti says that ‘My disability is my strength and driving force. I wouldn’t have trained so hard, if I had both my arms and perhaps failed to create an identity of my own. Being specially- abled is an opportunity in disguise for me.’
‘Much more than my medals, it is the phone calls that I receive from aspiring athletes that give me sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. Being an idol to someone else is very rewarding says the 22 year old shuttler.’
Arti encourages women to take risks in life to succeed. She says ‘We women are often risk averse but a small courageous step can bring about a miraculous change in our lives. Young girls should move confidently in the direction of their dreams and make untiring efforts to achieve them.’
Presently Arti is training for the Para-Badminton International 2019 qualifier to be held at Tokyo, Japan from 12 to 17 November 2019.
Arti has come a long way but the path ahead remains challenging. The training accessories, fitness and nutrition essential for competing at International tournaments are demanding with huge financial expenses. Sponsorship or financial support from NGO’s, sports enthusiasts or CSR funding will encourage this passionate shuttler to bring laurels to the country. (For sponsorship support please write to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org)