Friday Jul 1, 2022
Friday Jul 1, 2022

On track to be a professional athlete in Nepal

Balancing their game with their school can be a new setting for most, but Abhilasha Bista has found a way.

2022 Feb 13, 7:37,

The narrow-minded society in our country has rarely believed in Nepalese athletes flourishing. Even though the national teams and players have made progress in recent times, there certainly remains an aura of skepticism amongst the general crowd. Even for those who do pursue their dreams, balancing their regular schooling with sports can be hectic. Nevertheless, Abhilasha Bista, an 18-year-old international tennis player from our country, has managed to proceed in her quest to become a professional while being a regular student.

Bista has been playing tennis since she was 7. “Even when I was at school, I used to get up at 6:30 in the morning,” she says. “I needed to get to school by 8:30, so I would use the time in the morning to study and catch up with school work. School ended at 3:30 and I’d already be in a rush to go for training. After returning home at around 7:30, I would straightaway have my dinner and go complete my homework.”

Following a rigorous schedule is something she has been accustomed to now. “Since I followed the routine from such a young age, it’s easy for me now. I know of other players who started later than me, and found it hard to adjust to the new lifestyle.”

That being said, she did acknowledge that she did get a sense of missing school. “I never really felt like I missed out on much in middle school. But around grades 9 and 10, I did start missing my friends a bit more. I was not on any social media sites either, so I rarely caught up with whatever happened at school.”

Nevertheless, Bista understood that to continue following her dream of being a tennis star, she did have to make a few sacrifices. “I never regretted having to miss school or even my friends. There certainly were things I wanted to do, like participate in extracurricular activities. But tennis was and is my first priority, and that’s a constant for me.”

Bista has secured 193 titles to date, including international titles, and is currently ranked at number 2 in the Nepal Women and number 1 in the Nepal Under-18 categories. She firmly believes that she would not have reached this position today if she hadn’t gotten her priorities right, and even passes down the same advice to other children who wish to be professional athletes.

“The most important thing is that you need to get your priorities straight. For instance, for me, it’s always been tennis, followed by studies and friends. Not only that, you need to be committed to the game. There may be days where nothing you do goes to plan, but that cannot let you down. It’s always important to reflect on your game and look to improve each time.”


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