EASTERN EYE February 1, 2008
THREE BRITISH-ASIAN SPORTS by ZEKRA RAHMAN
BREAKING UP IS REALLY HARD TO DO WHEN women go through heartbreak, they share the pain they are feeling with their girlfriends. They have a number of helping hands (and a lot of ice cream) to guide them through the agony of splitting up from someone great. When a guy breaks up with someone great, they won’t share the pain with other guys. In fact, they will put on a brave face and bottle up the hurt. While outwardly they put on a brave face (and sometimes grow a break-up beard), inwardly they will attempt to ignore the torment that is slowly suffocating them. One way to ignore the pressure that is being generated by the bottled-up pain is to rebound into the arms of other women. The only problem with that is that guys will initially look for clones of the woman they just lost. Whether it’s the face, personality, hair, body type or sense of humour, they will attempt to rediscover the woman
they just broke up from. The only problem with that is, however sparkly, an imitation jewel will remain just that. While some other guys will get over a break up by distracting themselves with activities like going to the gym, others will lose the motivation to do anything and will spend endless hours in front of the TV. Some guys will swear off women while others will hit the self-destruct button and get involved in a series of meaningless affairs with very ‘unsuitable’ women. What most of the guys won’t do is figure out what led to the break up in the first place and how they can stop it happening again. Instead, they will think about their ex-girlfriend and hope that the wounds will heal enough for them to take another chance in another relationship. They do this, even though the logical thing is to figure out a way to win back the woman they just lost.
THEY say that a good way to cut down the size of a man’s ego is to trash him at sports. Three sporting girls who are more than capable of beating guys are 15-year-old footballer Vanisha Patel, 14-year-old cricketer Nikki Patel and 18-year-old golfing sensation Kiran Matharu. The teen queens have excelled at the male-dominated sports and have become role models for Asian girls. When Eastern Eye met the terrific trio at the launch of the annual British Asian Sports Awards at the Oval cricket ground recently, they were in high spirits and rubbing shoulders with a number of big names from different sports. Masterminded by Sony Entertainment Television, the prestigious event celebrates the achievements of the Asians who make a difference in the community, sporting heroes as well as young stars such as Vanisha, Nikki and Kiran. How did you first get involved in your particular sport? Vanisha: I started playing football at school with the boys. I watched Bend It Like Beckham as well and that really inspired me. Then I decided to get serious and go to a Sunday club and play in the Sunday League. From there, I had trials for Charlton Athletic and now I have made my debut in the women’s team. Nikki: I started when I was four and have been playing for 10 years now. My dad ran the local cricket club and I got into it by watching my brother. I still play with him sometimes but I play more hockey with him now. I like team sports. Kiran: I started playing golf when I was 11. I just started playing with my dad one day. I had no intention of playing seriously but one of the coaches told me I was talented. I told my dad and it started off from there. What is your fitness regime like? Vanisha: Mondays I do fitness, Tuesdays I train with the women, Wednesdays I have a rest and Thursday I do tactical training. Every morning I do sit-ups and other exercises. We get guidance on what we should and shouldn’t eat. Nikki: I train about six or seven hours a week, normally after school or in the evenings. Every night before I go to bed, I do ‘the plank’ for a minute. You lie with your forearms and feet flat on the ground and stay in a straight position – it’s like you’re lying on the floor but raised up. I do have a fitness programme – like pelvis exercises, planks, sit ups and press ups and other exercises to build our core muscles up. Kiran: I’ve got a personal trainer. I start in the morn-
ing, then I go to the gym and in the afternoon I practise golf. What has been the biggest challenge so far? Vanisha: Finding out I had the opportunity to go for the women’s team was a big one, considering I am still the youngest one in my team. I took the opportunity and I really enjoy it now. But it is a lot tougher than I thought it would be. Nikki: Getting into the indoor World Cup side is the biggest challenge I’ve had. Kiran: Golf in itself is a challenging game because anything can happen at any time. Last year, I turned professional, which was totally different from being an amateur. I play against better players, travel all around Europe and win money! Which one of your achievements are you most proud of to date? Vanisha: Well, I have won this award before which I am really proud of. Also, playing for the women’s team considering I’m only 15 is a huge achievement. A lot of people don’t get the opportunity. At Charlton I have and I have taken it and am trying to go far with it. Nikki: Playing for Midlands in the under-19 outdoor and also indoor cricket in the under-19 England squad. Kiran: Last year I won the Volvo Cross Country Challenge. I won a car and $37,500. Do boys get intimidated by you? Vanisha: During the summer I did some training with boys who were two years older than me because I thought it would be a bit of a challenge. At first they were a bit like, ‘Oh my God, she is a girl, I’m not going to go in hard.’ But when I started showing them what I could do, they knew they were in for a tough session and decided, ‘Oh, she’s one of us now, let’s go for it.’ Nikki: No, they ask a lot of questions. They don’t mind it, they just find it interesting. Kiran: Some of them are. Even though I’m better than them, they still think they can beat me because I am a girl. I don’t get frustrated, I just play them and beat them and that’s it. What would you do if you weren’t doing sport? Vanisha: I don’t know, my whole life revolves around sport. I would probably be doing some other kind of sport. I do street dancing as well, and use those skills for footwork. It all links together. Nikki: More school, homework and time at home. I also play hockey and netball. Kiran: I would probably be at school or college. I have no idea what I would be studying, though. I started when I was 11 so I didn’t take much interest in what I was doing at school. When I’m not playing sport, I go to the gym and see family and friends. Who do you consider your sporting hero? Vanisha: John Terry who plays for Chelsea because he plays centre back like I used to, and because he is captain, which is something I would like to be. Nikki: (Indian batsman) Virender Sehwag because I know him. Kiran: Tiger Woods as well as Lorena Ochoa, who is the ladies World No 1.