Born in Pune, Purva is currently pursuing psychology from IGNOU. Purva inherited her love for badminton from her grandmother and her father. Her dad used to play in college but had to drop out due to studies. Love for badminton turned professional and she started winning district and state championships but didn’t quite understand the importance of those. By the time she was thirteen, Purva had already earned fame by winning national matches. Going by the flow, she prioritized badminton. When we asked her why she chose psychology, Purva said that she’ll most probably pursue sports psychology so she can stay connected with the game.
Talking about the hardships faced by females athletes in their careers, Purva says that she’s quite lucky that she didn’t have to face such things. All the people around me like my family and coaches have been very supportive. I’ve seen a lot of athletes where their parents would stop them from playing after school or as soon as they turn eighteen.
One of the most serious problems female athletes face is menstruation. Purva says that due to periods, she lost two important matches as she was in intense pain. So she purposely goes to practice during her periods so she can handle the pain. Purva suggests that there should be a fitness schedule or stretching routine for athletes during their menstrual cycle.
One thing that keeps motivating Purva is her dream to represent India in Olympics. Every tournament she plays is one step closer to that dream, so this keeps her going without any hurdles. To get closer to her dream, she has to be in the top 30 world players, and for that she has to play a lot of international matches. Purva is looking forward to playing a lot of international tournaments in the next two years. Another thing that keeps her going is that she didn’t come this far to lose. Moreover winning matches is a nice push towards another one.
This COVID pandemic has been very difficult for the world, talking about that Purva says that initially it was very bad. As a person who has always been playing 6 hours a day, competing, training, and traveling were suddenly locked in a room. There was no motivation or hope as all the tournaments were getting canceled. But then she composed herself and started diverting her attention towards other things. Like learning guitar, painting, and also spent more time with family. She usually doesn’t do much meditation, but usually puts up her air-pods and try to focus on her inner self.
During the lockdown, Purva also started a YouTube channel where she posts some of her fitness routines. It's not a professional thing but more of a hobby. Due to her games, she travels a lot, so one can see some travel diaries and documentaries too. Her workout has been pretty badly affected due to the lockdown. During the off-season, she has to work out by 6 am. Then she has coach sessions by 8-10 am and 1-4 in the afternoon. Whenever at tournaments, she only does her specifics as she doesn’t wanna hurt herself.
Talking about unforgettable moments during her journey, Purva briefly remembers when she was 12 years old, her dad informed her that she was selected in the Indian team for the Asia Junior Championship. As a child Purva used to always dream about playing on the TV like the others players did and this was a big opportunity for her. The second moment was when she played at the Italian Junior Championship. As the national anthem played, Purva couldn’t hold back her tears. The feeling of representing INDIA and goosebumps can’t be justified in words.
Purva says that everyone keeps on saying that women need to stand up for themselves and be better than men, but I feel that there shouldn’t be a gender tag on your achievements. A girl does what she’s capable of, so a tag isn’t important. Even if we talk about the Olympics, the two medals we have won are by Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu, this depicts that girls have already proven themselves and there is no need to prove anything to anyone.
For her excellent performance, Purva was given a scholarship of Rs 60000 by the Maharashtra government. She also received Khelo India scholarship for the span of10 years. She tells us that the current situation in the sports world is much better than it was a decade ago. As people have become aware of other sports than cricket. The government is giving out scholarships, but the amount isn’t enough. Purva adds that no other sport can be compared to the amount of attention and aid cricket gets, that should change. Along with that more support and academics are needed.
Purva is further focused on playing international matches, but due to the pandemic she’s is now just trying to back on her fitness routine. Talking about the upcoming young players, Purva says that parents are desperate about their kids, and she feels like the kids should be on their own to learn. Players should trust their coaches and themselves as champions aren’t made in one. Patience is the key here, there will be a lot of opportunities with lot of competition, so young players should prepare their best.
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