Sonny Kalar – On a Mission with not a minute to waste

FullSizeRenderSonny, tell us a bit about yourself?
Firstly, thank you for the opportunity to become a role model for BASTF. It is an honour and I would like to commend you for the fantastic work that you have done thus far in making such an impact in Asian sport in the UK and the platform that you are providing for our youngsters.

Ok, a bit about me…I work as a manager in full time professional employment in a busy role and have been in this career for over 22 years now. Aside from working I have a few businesses that I run including; Instructing Kung Fu, Coaching Squash, Writing books and selling Eleven Plus Exam Papers, on top of that I am an avid online Sports and Shares Trader and am also a Life coach too. All in all, I have a very busy weekly timetable and love nothing more than to unwind with family time or spending a night out with one of my close buddies, this makes all of the work and business efforts much more palatable when I am chilling and unwinding.

What sports in particular do you participate in?
When I was younger I played a tremendous amount of football and travelled up and down the country with my team playing in tournaments and scooping many trophies. I was quite handy as a striker and had a reputation for scoring in most matches I played in with my most memorable moment when I scored 5 goals in a final in 1999 (oh those halcyon days). I even captained my Gurdwara and Sunday league teams and had a great deal of fun kicking a ball around. Alongside this I have always been a keen Squash enthusiast and have been playing the sport for well over 20 years now. I have competed in and managed to win or come runner up in many tournaments in that time all over the UK, somewhere in the region of 60 trophies where I played many top level Squash players (including Professional players) and had a blast. These were great memories and really enjoyable times for me. Sadly, a few injuries, the odd life support machine moment (more about that later) and old age have robbed me of the gazelle like speed I once possessed, but that is life and it gets us all one day. I still love playing and competing and one day hope to make the Squash Masters England squad with everything being equal and I am training hard towards that goal. I also teach Kung Fu and have attained black belts in several disciplines (Wing Tsun, Wing Chun and Jujitsu) and have always been a huge fan of Bruce Lee. I love the confidence and calmness that the martial arts gives you and have been training for over 20 years too. So all in all I really spent a lot of my years training and competing which has been really fulfilling and I am so satisfied with the memories that playing sport has given me over the years, it has been wonderful.

In what way do you think you can be a good role model and help inspire young Asians out there who are interested in sport?
I have always been very passionate about sport and life in general and anyone who truly knows me can vouch that I wear my heart on my sleeve. I feel that this approach has helped me to achieve a great deal of things in my life and made me push myself to my limits and enabled me to squeeze every scintilla of excitement and adventure out of my pursuits. I am still thirsty and focused on making the most of life and giving something back to my children and all of my clients across all of my businesses, otherwise there is no point in achieving any success if you simply can’t follow the simple Confucian ethic of making those close to you, those who have faith in you achieve a higher level of success than even you attained in your life. This Confucian principle remains dear to my heart and that is why I get out of bed in the morning and work hard. I want to pass on my knowledge and life experience to those who are up and coming and also want to work hard to make their dreams come true. It is all about inspiring the youngsters to believe in themselves and understand that there really is so much that sport can bring to the table.

What are your passions away from sport?
My passion is travelling and I can see myself doing this for many more years as the travel bug is still burning fiercely. My ventures have taken me all over the world from all of the major European cities, Canada, the States to the beaches of Venezuela, Copacabana in Brazil, Buenos Aires, the Pyramids of Egypt, the haunting charm of Turkey, the Caribbean and the heavenly Maldives (having been several times I can honestly say that this is as close to paradise on earth as I have ever got). I simply love the fun of it all, meeting new characters and sampling wonderful cuisine, this passion makes me feel alive!

How have your life experiences shaped you as a person? What principles do you stand by?
I love laughter, I love people being happy and enjoying themselves, I love the company of good family and friends and above all else I love enjoying life with whatever you have at your disposal despite the hardships and scars that everyone carries and I truly believe that we are blessed to be alive!
With regards to principles, I am a straight talker and I have been renowned for challenging unfairness, inequality and bullying behaviour throughout all aspects of my life. I am known to give you a piece of my mind if I feel that you are deliberately trying to disrespect me or satisfy your own ego by attempting to put me down. This is a trait that I have carried with me throughout my life and one that I am thankful that I possess. In saying that, I am a fair person and will always help you when I can, I am also very loyal to those who know me and have purposefully kept a very close knit group of friends who I know I could trust with anything. I am the first person to help you should you be in trouble and someone who you can turn to for advice.

You are a Squash and Kung Fu coach to your three lovely children – Jasmin, Danni and Dylan. What inspires you to teach them yourself and what do you think their future holds?
As every proud parent would say, my children are my life and watching them grow and achieve every single day gives me tremendous satisfaction. They are all so talented in many ways and I am blessed that they have inherited my passion for getting the most out of life. I am also very proud to have helped coach both of my daughters to pass the very tough 11+ Grammar school exam and earn their spots at their local Grammar school. Those were tough times and I had to completely learn the 11+ curriculum and question types myself before I could even think about teaching them, but the toil was worth it and they excelled in the exams. As a consequence I then opened up my own 11+ Exam papers business and that has been successful so far.
My kids squash has been going really well, considering that they have only being playing for a few years. Both my daughters are Berkshire Squash champions and my boy is showing tremendous promise. I am certain that if they continue that they will be future champions, even World champions – you never know and why dream small hey! They are all enjoying playing on the UK Junior Squash circuit and have all attained good rankings since they started with Danni reaching the UK number 10 position in the Under 11 category, a very proud day for her considering she had only been playing for 2 years up until that point. I am on court with them 3/4 times per week and we really have a lot of fun aside from the serious training. We mix things up by goofing around and this does make training really enjoyable for all of us. I love these moments and they will always be fond memories for me when the kids get older. It is a beautiful thing, it really is and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

What are your sporting goals for the future?
My dreams are two-fold. With regards to my Kung Fu I want to continue to teach and to encourage as many people to learn this wonderful martial art that has served me so well for many years. I want to train all of my children to Black belt/sash level (my eldest daughter earned her Black Belt with my niece under my tutelage) and want to continue to teach both privately and in dedicated clubs for many more years to come.
My second passion and goal is with Squash. I want to represent England at International level by performing well and gaining ranking points in the 8 yearly Squash Masters tournaments across the UK (including the British Nationals and British Open). I want to continue to coach my children so that one day they can ALL fulfil their ambitions by trying their hand at Professional Squash and seeing how far they can go. The training commitment has been there from me from the very moment they all embarked upon their squash journey and I am very pleased to say that the inbuilt passion and dedication that they have showed has been mind-blowing and really satisfying. So there you have it, my sporting goals on a plate and hopefully within the next few years my personal sporting dreams and coaching aspirations may just be within reach…

I understand you fought back from a tough illness and have had to overcome some hardships to be where you are today, tell us a little about this?
This is an emotive subject for me as it was a very low point in my life and a time when as far as everyone around me was concerned my life was over. Well, I was in a bad way with my body being ravished with blood-poisoning (Sepsis), organ failure, pneumonia, MRSA and pleurisy. I had even overheard a couple of Doctors talking about how I would not make it at the foot of my bed when I was in a semi-coma (quite disturbing but true!). I had lost all sense of certainty in my life, I did not know whether I would make it or not, but I fought back hard with the only way I knew how and I pulled through with all of my fighting spirit. As I lay there recovering I had a realisation, my fight had sparked an awakening, a deepened desire to take life by the scruff of the neck and to squeeze every moment I could out of it with even MORE PASSION than I had before, and this is what I do each and every day. I am thankful to those Doctors who saved my life and in the not too distant future I will be promoting SEPSIS awareness as widely as I can. It is truly deadly and very, very painful and from my research I know that not many people survive it!

Any last words of encouragement and inspiration for any youngsters who are interested in taking up a sport or are trying to excel in their chosen sport?
Do not hold back when you train, never lose sight of your goals and always strive to be the very best you can be in everything that you do. No matter what challenges life throws at you try and find a way to overcome them, to see past the problem and look for a way to better yourself and find a better place.
Focus on your sporting goals and take all necessary steps to be the very best you can be. Train hard but smartly. Always keep a diary of your progress and see how far you have come with regular monthly reviews. Be aware that you can be anything that you want if you set your mind to it, you can beat anyone in your sport if you train efficiently, you can overcome any fear holding you back if you harness your inner passion and fire.

Lastly, to be the best, you need to train with the heart of a champion each and every day. You need to have the confidence and determination to push yourself closer to your goals. You need to believe that you will be the best and before long you will be closer to fulfilling your sporting dreams, because with that kind of DESIRE, not even a mountain will be able to stop you from achieving success!
I run a blog with further details about my coaching services on my website if you wanted to know more. The website contains all aspects of Life & Sports coaching – www.kalarcoaching.com.

Finally, Apinder & Davinder, I would like to reiterate my total admiration for what you have achieved in starting BASTF and for providing a crucial platform for young Asian sporting talent. I wish you every success moving forward and will be ready to support you as much as I can in the future. Well done and thanks again.

Many Thanks to our Role Model Sonny Kalar for sharing his experiences with us, we here at BASTF are excited about Sonny coming on board the foundation.

Chelsea’s Asian Star proves big hit

The seventh instalment of Chelsea’s Asian Star initiative proved a huge success today (Monday) as more than 300 young Asian players took part in the event at the club’s Cobham training ground.

On a sun-soaked Bank Holiday Monday the youngsters took part in a day of activities designed to increase Asian participation in all levels of the game, while the winners in each age group are invited to join the Chelsea Foundation‘s Football Development Centres.

Chelsea Foundation coaches were joined by coaches from the Zesh Rehman Foundation, with participants competing in under-9s to under-12s age groups. Children were judged on a series of matches and tests specifically designed and used by the Chelsea Academy to examine speed, skill and ability

Nyan Mesuria, Ronaq Mussa, Abdullah Javid and Adam Ahmed were crowned champions in the under-12, under-11, under-10 and under-9 categories respectively. Prizes were presented by former Chelsea strike Tore Andre Flo and previous Asian Star winner Sam Khan, who now plays for Nottingham Forest’s academy.

Under-12 winner Nyan Mesuria said: ‘It’s a nice feeling, I really enjoyed the testing and the training ground is really nice, it was very cool to see.’

 

Under-11 winner Ronaq Mussa added: ‘It was a great experience for me, I had a fantastic time. I really enjoyed the small sided games as it allowed me to showcase my ability.’

 

Under-10 winner Abdullah Javid said: ‘It was an amazing experience to test my skills against my fellow peers, I had a brilliant day.’

 

Under-9 Adam Ahmed added: ‘The whole event was amazing, I feel that I really developed my shooting accuracy, I’m really happy I won my award.’

 

The winners along with Sam Khan (centre) and Tore Andre Flo after the Asian Stars event at Cobham Training Ground

The winners along with Sam Khan (centre) and Tore Andre Flo after the Asian Stars event at Cobham Training Ground

There were further awards handed out to Ziyad Al-Oyouni, Avi Kochhar, Seif Iqbal and Ameer Aslam in the under-12, under-11, under-10 and under-9 categories respectively after all four impressed the coaches during the testing phase of the day.

However the day wasn’t all about the children as the Hub2 building also hosted a number of talks for parents. These included presentations by the Zesh Rehman Foundation and a presentation from the Football Association Equality Department about their work developing opportunities for Asian players at all levels including coaching.

Flo, who played for Chelsea between 1997 and 2000 and now works in the Academy, was making his first appearance at Asian Star and was hugely impressed with both the day and the talent on show.

He said: ‘It must be a great day for the children, coming here to Cobham and using these facilities at Chelsea Football Club. I can imagine that this day is like a great adventure for them.

‘It’s great for the club to be involved in a project like this, Chelsea are involved in a lot of great things for children, including trying to develop grassroots football and most of all allowing children to enjoy themselves which they do on such a day like this. All in all I think that everybody must be happy to be here today.

 

‘I’m really proud to be working for Chelsea Football Club; they are doing a great job with grassroots football especially with events like Asian Star, which is why it’s so great to be involved with this club, he said.’

Asian Star is the first scheme of its kind undertaken by a professional football club. It is designed to give a much-needed boost to Asian participation at all levels of the game.

 

The crowd cheer after the Asian Stars event at Cobham Training Ground

The crowd cheer after the Asian Stars event at Cobham Training Ground

 

Article written by Chelsea FC PR Team

Forget the Ryder Cup, here comes Lee Westwood Golf Final

There was excitement and nerves at the start of this year’s Ryder Cup 2014, and we are all hoping Europe can make it a hat-rick of victories this year.  But, here at BASTF, there is another reason to be excited about.  Through weeks of sheer hard work and competing, Isha Chhatwal qualified for the Lee Westwood Golf Final, which takes place on Monday 29th September in Newcastle.

We wish Isha all the best for the competition – and she has kindly given us a little insight into the build up, enjoy readers.

It’s been a really busy week with lots of homework, daily practice sessions with dad and fitness training. All in anticipation for the big day on Monday!

I spent the summer holidays competing on the Lee Westwood tour, taking part in several Opens around Kent and Sussex. The competition was tough and the courses even tougher but I managed to qualify in the u21 category.

I was ecstatic when I got the news but daunted by the fact I would now be facing a further 60 qualifiers from around the country in the national final.

I’ve been practicing on several areas of my game for about 1 ½ hours every day. Coupled with this has been cardio and core training at the gym to strengthen my back and overall balance.

I set off on Saturday to Newcastle – a 6 ½ hour car journey with my dad! The planes and trains were working out too expensive so we opted for the car – we’ve got a lot of excess luggage – my golf bag and trolley plus suitcases – so it makes sense to travel by car.

I’m not putting pressure on myself but I obviously want to do well – whatever happens the experience will be invaluable and I get to meet one of my golf heroes – Lee Westwood!

I’ll keep you posted on the journey and send some pics from Close House – so keep your fingers crossed for me – not for Monday but the car journey with my dad without a radio!!!

Great Ormond Street Hospital – What an Awesome Place

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BASTF Co-founder Bob shares his thoughts on our visit to GOSH to present a donation from our Charity Golf Day…..

An eclectic mix of buildings, a welcoming interior but a serious underlying sense of purpose – that was my first impression of Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Built on a real passion for the welfare of children but supported by the generosity of many thousands of donors.

We met with the team at GOSH charity headquarters and were given a warm welcome – they were so grateful for any support whether big or small; and it was evident that the support teams are so passionate about what they do.

Danny and myself presented the cheque to the team – it felt good… but it was the next hour that would confirm that BASTFs efforts had gone to a very worthwhile cause.

The hospital was a hive of activity with worried parents, hard working doctors and nurses, amazing support staff, volunteers and of course the children. So much thought has been put into the makeup of the buildings, whether new or old to make the children feel more comfortable, but to remain a fully functional hospital – even the   clinical smell has been intelligently removed and replaced with something more comforting.

The children are distracted from their day to day problems through play, illuminated lifts, an in house school and even an LED wall that lights up in the form of animals as the children are taken to theatre. The hospital continues to strive towards medical excellence, investing in research and development and acquiring the finest scientific brains from around the world.

Nothing is more moving than seeing a child return from major surgery surrounded by a team of doctors and wrapped in bandages and monitoring equipment. But with GOSH you are very aware that child and her parents will receive the very best care.

BASTF is so grateful for everyone’s generosity at the golf day and we are even more determined to make a larger contribution next year.

Keaton Samra – a racing protege

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There are no combination of words that would describe the selfless commitment of a family determined to provide the very best opportunity to their son in fulfilling his dream.

To be inspired by Keaton and humbled by the Samra family would be understatements and to witness his talent was a privilege.

Our exciting meeting led us to Buckmore Park in Kent, probably the most difficult go karting circuit in the UK. Upon our arrival we were warmly met by Suki, Keaton’s father, who kindly showed us  around the circuit and the areas that the  normal  public don’t get to see. The place was a hive of activity with various team awnings lined up behind the circuit. Sponsors, mechanics and concerned parents were hard at work tuning, fine tuning and repairing their karts, whilst the drivers analysed data and deliberated their racing lines for the next heat.

Suki, led us to his new mobile home, an investment decision to eradicate expensive hotel costs and keep the family together during race season; and where we met Keaton’s mum Aman, Keaton and his younger brother. Within this organised but confined accommodation it was not difficult to see  the level of commitment and determination the family had in nurturing Keaton’s natural talent – and they all appeared on a high from Keaton’s previous night’s success at becoming the 2014 Best Young Achiever at the British Indian Awards in Birmingham.

While Keaton prepared for his next qualifying race, the BASTF team took a stroll with Suki to get a general picture of life in the SAMRA world.  Suki’s passion and steel is clearly evident and  from the inset you know this family unit means business, with every minute detail put under the  microscope.  As the conversation continued it became glaringly obvious the huge financial and emotional  commitment that is required to become the very best – the missed family weddings, no social life,  a normal childhood and as Suki puts it, “a Sunday off could mean us just staying in our PJ’s all day!”.

Alongside the gruelling racing schedule, Keaton maintains a strict and disciplined work ethic – early morning fitness sessions keep his body in top condition  preparing him aptly for the physical demands of racing. This  disciplined lifestyle with the huge support from the unsung hero – HIS MUM – has had a positive knock on effect on his school work ensuring Keaton continues to achieve in his school subjects to the very highest standards.

When  race time  arrives we all make our way to the  grand stand to watch Keaton race. As the race begins, the passion and anxiety can be seen on the family’s faces – they live and breathe racing and their anticipation quickly transfers to the BASTF team. Suki’s focus is on Keaton’s race lines and his conversation becomes interrupted by cries of euphoria at the shear skill of his driving.   Keaton drives a magnificent race, his dexterity and natural ability to be one with his kart more than evident and a cut above the competition. He weaved in and out, carefully choosing his strategy to overtake the karts in front of him – a maturity and racing brain beyond his years. During the Final lap Keaton looked in great position to win the race until he was clipped from behind and his kart spun out of control.  However, his steely resolve and competitive nature got him back on track and he miraculously managed to make up his lost position in a relatively small amount of time. Although visibly upset after the race, Keaton was even more determined to improve in the next race – That’s passion and definitely something you can’t teach!

The SAMRA family are a rare  breed of Asians in terms of their commitment and dedication to help their son achieve the very top level in sport – a possibility we can now foresee.  It’s only when you experience firsthand the sacrifice and  hard work of this family unit that you realise just what it takes to turn a dream into reality. Keaton has all the attributes and characteristics one needs to succeed; he is humble, respectful, mature beyond his years and has a steely determination that you only see in the very elite sportsman.   It  was a real pleasure for the BASTF team to meet the SAMRA family and we hope to continue being part of Keaton’s flourishing career.

In case you were wondering, here is how things shaped that weekend in Buckmore Park for Keaton:

Heat 2-started 9th finished 2nd – carved through traffic in early laps to get up to 2nd and then pushed the driver in front and himself clear of the pack to finish 2nd

Sunday – Pre final- started 6th got up to 4th in the first two corners then due to an incident there was a red flag, race was re started back from original grid positions. Keaton again got through traffic to push the driver infront and himself clear of the pack. 15 min race 4 mins to go the driver starts defending and bringing the whole pack into contention. Keaton nerves of steel lost 2 positions, got one back to finish 3rd in a pack of 10 plus drivers all going for the win. This race aged me by 10 years, only to be told by Keaton that he had everything under control.

Sundays grand final – Started 3rd – him and his team mate and another drive on the same Zip Kart chassis pushed away for 15 mins and won the race 5 secs clear with Keaton coming in 3rd.

This has resulted in Keaton gaining a huge haul of points which sees him sitting 6th in the British championship table, previously was sitting 12th due to bad luck in the first round.

 

Click here to keep in touch with Keaton’s progress on his official website

 

Consolidated

Neel Sood – A Passion for Sports Development

It’s the March edition of our blog and we are fortunate to have our Ambassador Neel Sood give us an insight into his passion for sports development and the importance of giving back.

Being a Sports Development Officer, and providing opportunities for other people to become more active and involved in sport, is a career that I find fascinating and very rewarding. Working in the sports industry is probably a career choice that is seldom chosen in the Asian community; but I want to share my experiences on how my passion for sport and my true belief in its virtues, has led to me pursuing this choice of career. I believe that if others have the passion, it’s a great career to be in.

My earliest memory of sport was the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, when I was 5 years old, when I watched the men’s hockey final on old school VHS with my dad; Great Britain beat the then West Germany 3-1, and an obsession was born.  My dad had played hockey since his boyhood, and I promptly joined his club’s junior section, spending almost every Saturday going to watch him play and every Sunday playing myself. Cue years of negotiating with my parents to stay up late to watch any sport that was on TV.

As I grew up, and my interest in hockey grew (I represented the South of England at junior level), other pressures started to grow on me too. As a teen, I was in a similar position to most Asians, under pressure to perform academically. At a time where many drop off the sporting radar, with the blessing of my parents, I kept up with my sports, eventually breaking into the senior first team of my club, and continuing to compete at school and junior level. I feel it was important to do something to break the routine of studying, and would advise the same to others; I’ve been lucky enough in my current role to research that being physically active or playing sport can increase academic attainment and engagement at school.

I continued playing hockey through university and beyond, and continued to enjoy playing. I began to see a new part of sport that I’d not previously thought would be for me – coaching. The more I did, the more I became passionate about giving chances to younger players to play and get involved in hockey;  and this is where my enthusiasm for getting more people active came from. I found, even in the junior section of my hockey club, it was very rewarding to see others being active; something that prompted me to become even more active myself.

After several years of deciding what career choice to go into, I decided that sports development was the career for me. Though it is not as financially rewarding as other careers, I felt that seeing others reach their goals, and being more active, would be the reward I would have from my job, and so it has proved.

My experience in the industry has been entirely in my local area, which is one of the things I love about my current role, it’s putting something back into the area that I grew up in which is worth more than money to me I feel. I currently work at Get Berkshire Active, which is the local County Sports Partnership (the lead strategic body for community sport in the county), so I work entirely at grassroots level.

I have been fortunate to see some excellent sporting stories through the course of my job, but most of all I have been fortunate to have seen some incredible stories of sport changing people’s lives. You may have heard of famous stories of sports stars such as Clint Dempsey, Luol Deng and countless others who have used sports as a way out of unfortunate life situations and have gone on to make it to the top of their profession.

I have seen young people with broken lives and little future, take to sport to give them some focus, and make a success of themselves; either by going on to university when it seems they had lost interest in education, or in some other way. It’s the wider power of sport that I love to see in action, and which gives me great satisfaction in what I do.

If you are similarly passionate about sport, and getting people more active in sport or other activity, for the huge benefits it can bring to people’s lives;  then working in sports development is definitely a career worth thinking about as it is so hugely rewarding.

We would like to Thank Neel Sood for sharing his experience with us and look forward to his continual involvement with the foundation.

Follow Neel Sood on Twitter

Monica Sharma – One Passionate Football Player

We are kicking off 2014 in style and it gives us great pleasure to feature the first post of this new year, from Chesham United Ladies FC player Monica Sharma.……a passion from the start

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Being brought up in Hounslow by humble grandparents and a supporting family, allowed me to develop an unconditional love and passion for the game of Football. Many footballers start their development at very early ages, however mine started from a somewhat late age of 12 years. I was very much influenced by my dad and uncles who played for a local team, J&S Hounslow, now currently Indian Gymkhana FC. The players and all those associated with the club became family and still are. Watching every game on weekends, come rain, snow or sun to then talking about it afterwards became a huge part of my weekly routine. I’m sure for many people this does not coincide with the norm of what a young Punjabi girl should be doing at my age, but that didn’t stop my family from sharing their own experiences with me.

 

……pushing the passion to the next level

The beginning of secondary school is where I really started progressing my passion for the game and made the decision of taking up football as a long-term commitment. Even thinking about it now, I am truly grateful to my PE teachers who put so much time and effort in me. I was trialing with Chelsea FC at 13 years of age, but lacked the experience and physicality, which was why I played for Middlesex County Girls to turn these weaknesses into strengths. I always believed in my ability but that’s not good enough, I needed someone else to believe in my potential too. It was then that I came across a coach at Brentford Ladies FC who weaned me in, and eventually becoming the youngest player at 16 years of age to be training with the first team.

Football has always been a passionate hobby, but education is still a priority of mine. I was able to go to University and complete a Science degree and at the same time play football with other like-minded quality players. I was training and competing alongside national level players which was exactly what I needed at this point, helping me progress into a player I am today.

During my last year of university I needed to decide where I wanted to take my football from here. I had a trial with QPR Ladies lined up and a Euro Championships tournament in Turkey to be looking forward to. Unfortunately, injuries got the best of me and it couldn’t have come at a worst time. I sustained a complete ACL rupture which pushed me back considerably for two years. Not being able to do what you love took its toll emotionally and I had to re-consider either starting again or packing football in and focusing on my career. Looking back, in a way this injury was a blessing in disguise. It allowed me to take some time out of football and focus on pursuing another dream of mine, of becoming a Sports Physiotherapist (which I am still working towards).  However, I couldn’t have left football forever.

……if at first you don’t succeed, try again!

Last summer is when I thought I’d give it one last push. Being slightly ambitious in my approach I went along to trial for QPR Ladies, Tottenham Hotspurs  Ladies and Chesham United Ladies FC. Again, I had to decide whether I wanted to play for a name, or develop as a player and play matches consistently, which was why I decided to sign up for Chesham United Ladies FC as a defender. Never had I thought I would be receiving the best of both worlds, playing in the FA Women’s Premier League and still pursuing my career and training as a Physiotherapist.

It requires a lot of hard work and determination, which isn’t easy but it’s definitely worth it. Currently, I have no intentions of giving up football as long as my knees and ankles stay intact. And who knows, maybe one day this small town Punjabi girl will achieve her dreams.

 We would like to Thank Monica Sharma for sharing her experience with us and wish her all the best for the rest of the season.

Follow Monica Sharma on Twitter

Follow Chesham United Ladies FC