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Written by: Manvi Singh
While sports are known to build children in the most robust way of life, they also inculcate values that live with them over a long period of time - be it the undying resilience or the discipline, parents have never faltered into providing the best for their children.
In a country where education is highlighted to be the only way of growth, especially amongst parents, sports is twisting its fate to bring out spectacular achievements. While the Tokyo Olympics changed the way India looks at sports, it has also raised the taboo around the high-end game of golf.
With an availability that enriches the hearts of all age groups, golf can always be led as a family sport to play and spectate. With enriched courses and vast fairways, it welcomes a time for family bonding over a few knocks on the little ball. While children are known to learn the swiftest with observation, one can never ignore the involvement and contribution of the parents, specifically when it comes to golf.
Freedom to Choose Their Battles
For a professional golfer, Jahnavi Bakshi, the family bonding is what led her to the fairways. With her parents putting at the courses, while she chased squirrels around the course with her sister, to the time when she picked up the club out of her own free will and her grandfather’s recommendation, she has turned out to be a spectacular golfer to spectate.
In an exclusive interview with 4moles.com, Jahnavi Bakshi brought insight into her parent’s contribution to her golfing endeavour -
Undying Support through the Fairways
While Aditi Ashok made a remarkable stance on the world map with her performance at the Tokyo Olympics, what also didn’t go unnoticed was Aditi’s mother on her bag. Maheshwari, popularly known as Mash in the golfing community, tirelessly caddied for her daughter in Tokyo, while her father supported her trail at her debut Olympic Games at Rio. In an interview with NDTV, the Indian professional golfer stated, “It was great! When I had my dad caddie at the last (Rio 2016) Olympics, I knew I wanted my mom to be a part of it and get the whole Olympics experience whether it's at the village or being there at the competition.”
On a comparison driven note between her parents, Aditi Ashok stated on an NDTV Interview.
The on-course caddies and lifetime parents, Ashok Gudlamani and Maheshwari, have always been determined to bring the best to their daughter. As Mash states, there wasn’t much to do for her during the week while her only role was to ensure that Aditi may not feel pressured and keep the mood light.
Acknowledging the Need of the Child
As supportive as a parent should be, one should always be realistic with their expectations too. A player cannot always have a good day and it is the bad days when they’d truly need their parents the most. Understanding the competitive landscape, the most important thing one can keep in mind is to acknowledge the child’s need, something no one knows better than pro-golfer Diksha Dagar’s father, Col. Narinder Dagar.
Diksha Dagar paved her way to the golfing fairways with her name shining bright with her silver medal at the 2017 Deaf Olympics. The Indian golfer with hearing impairment had bigger challenges in her life to achieve her dreams, yet her father never chose to back down.
Diksha Dagar stated in an interview to Hindustan Times that she started accompanying her father to the fairways from a very young age. While it seemed like a cakewalk to many, the solution too had a lot of challenges, “It wasn’t easy. My father also had a job to take care of and I could not have played alone, so he coached my brother too.”
As the golfer received her ticket to the Tokyo Olympics, just like Aditi Ashok, Diksha Dagar had her father by her side. She believed it to be everything that she’d need on the fairways. “My father has been the driving force and it is great to have him with me (as a caddie) as I achieve my dream of playing in the Olympic Games.”
Financial Contribution to their Potential
Professional golfer, Aadil Bedi spoke of his struggle in pursuing golf as a career in an interview with 4moles.com, "It was difficult specifically the financial aspect of it, as their (parent's) salary wasn't enough to cover the expenses of my golfing endeavour. At times, they borrowed money and even sold some of their ancestral lands, hence while it's not easy, I duly appreciate everything they've done for me."
With golf being an elite sport, what one cannot ignore are the heavy expenses that are a part and parcel of the sport too. While this can be a setback to many parents, the choice to contribute financially to their child’s dream is a fantastic way of showing how they truly believe in the potential of their child.
Somehow, ignoring the flaws, parents always try to work on the most phenomenal versions of their child while simultaneously preparing them about how the world won’t be as generous as the parents are with them. The idea of learning to grow above your flaws, accepting your mistakes and inculcating for a better day tomorrow on the golf course or in life is something that takes you a long way ahead.
The goal shouldn’t always be to win, but rather to form the soft qualities that are essential to being a well-adjusted adult: bonding with teammates, taking coaching well and stretching physical limits. The ultimate goal that comes with responsible parenting of a young golfer is to build an athlete who is better than his yesterday and will always evolve to be better each day.