Our country has an abundance of women sporting talent, but multiple factors hold back young girls from making it big. Lack of encouragement from the family is probably one of the major ones.
But when you see a father standing like a rock behind his daughter and making all possible efforts to make her succeed in sports, you know the world is changing for the better!
Shreya Jadhav, a 14-yo girl from Mumbai, is India’s Under-14 taekwondo champion. She has a single dream in her life – clinching the Olympics Gold at Paris in 2024.
And Shreya’s father, Nitin Jadhav, is leaving no stone unturned to make sure his daughter achieves her goals.
Shreya’s martial arts journey started when she was 4-years-old, with Nitin wanting to train his little girl self-defense. He mentioned,
“We all know how things aren’t safe for females, and we wanted our daughter to be able to defend herself. Thankfully, we were able to find an academy nearby.”
But Shreya turned out to be a natural and took a liking to it. By the age of 10, she was winning medals at local, regional, state and national levels.
Inspite of his middle-class background, Nitin made all efforts to make sure Shreya was able to participate in all possible Taekwondo meets in the country.
To reach the next level and play at Olympics though athletes need to play at international tournaments and earn ranking points in the Global Membership System (GMS). This was proving to be a challenge for Nitin as he couldn’t afford to send Shreya abroad multiple times in the year. He mentioned,
“In 2017, I was able to send her to Thailand for an international taekwondo meet, where she won the gold medal. But that wasn’t enough. She needs to take part in a lot of international competitions to even qualify for the Olympics and sadly, that’s beyond our capacity”
This is when Nitin came across the idea of crowd-funding.
To make sure Shreya is able to get the best possible training and participate in international tournaments, Nitin started a crowd-funding campaign to raise Rs 20 Lakhs.
“I don’t want my daughter’s dream of participating as India’s representative and winning an Olympics medal in 2024 to fail as she has repeatedly proved her mettle at various platforms. I felt that crowdfunding would be the answer.”
We often complain about parents and society not supporting our daughters’ dreams, and limiting them to the age-old stereotypes of marriage and kids.
But, Nitin Jadhav is truly breaking those stereotypes and making all possible efforts to make sure his daughter, Shreya, achieved her dreams and brings the Olympic Gold medal for the country.
We wish this father-daughter duo the very best and hope their story would inspire many more parents to come forward and support their daughters to venture into athletics & sports!
In case you want to contribute to Shreya’s success, contribute to her Mission: 2024 Olympics campaign here.