EASTERN EYE February 1, 2008
WomenZone ADVERTISING PROMOTION
THREE BRITISH-ASIAN SPORTS by ZEKRA RAHMAN
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The Scottish Women’s Convention invites you to celebrate International Women’s Day 2008 in Edinburgh. Join us in the Scottish Parliament followed by an evening reception in Edinburgh Castle.
International Women’s Day Saturday 8th March 2008 To register for these FREE events please call 0131 550 3754 OR Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.scottishwomensconvention.org
Agnes Tolmie Chairperson SWC
We look forward to seeing you there!
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.
EASTERN EYE February 1, 2008
WomenZone Women Zone
GIRLS WHO ARE CHALLENGING STEREOTYPES
A different ball game ON THE RISE: (From left) Golfer Kiran Matharu, British Asian Sports Awards ambassador Mark Ramprakash, cricketer Nikki Patel and footballer Vanisha Patel
Where do you see yourself in a few years? Vanisha: Hopefully, playing for England. Next year we are having trials for that but it’s hard. My manager would like to see me in our first team and reserve team by the time I’m 16. Nikki: I hope to play for the England women’s team outdoor, but I need to build myself up. Kiran: If everything goes to plan then I will be World No 1. I have just started with a new coach, so I’m on the right track for that. Why aren’t there more Asian girls in sport? Vanisha: A lot of people say that it is against what we normally do, but if you enjoy it, then why not go for it? I believe there should be more support from the community.
Nikki: Some families don’t like watching their daughters play. The players need more support from their families. Kiran: Well, a lot more young women in general are playing golf now. It’s becoming more fashionable, girls can wear skirts, shorts, anything. What do you think of the British Asian Sports Awards? Vanisha: They are very good considering there aren’t that many Asians playing sport. They don’t even get recognised half the time. I think these awards boost their confidence.
Nikki: It helps people notice what we are doing, otherwise no one would really know. Kiran: I think they are great. I have been lucky enough to win this award twice in the last two years. The British Asian Sports Awards will be held at the London Hilton Hotel in Park Lane on Saturday February 16. It will be screened on Sony Entertainment Television next month.
Planet DiStar with Divya
WILL YOU BE MY VALENTINE?
LOVED-UP Britain will spend £30 million on flowers this Valentine’s Day, whether they are given with genuine feeling or after being guilttripped into the effort by a significant other. But what do you do when you know you will not be on the receiving end of a bunch of roses, a cuddly teddy bear or a romantic meal? Arranging a get-together that night with your fellow singletons is so last century. Instead, be naughty and find yourself a boyfriend specifically for Valentine’s Day. With under two weeks to go, there’s no need to be fussy – he won’t be meeting your Mum – but make sure he has the financial means to treat you to a traditional Valentine experience. If that fails, turn to the office geek to guarantee a massive bunch of flowers on your desk. But remember that the consequences of this behaviour will last much longer than the fresh flowers will!
BRAND BECKHAM AND UNICEF
DAVID BECKHAM doesn’t need to be modelling tight Armani underwear to be sexy. He doesn’t even have to be on the football pitch or in a designer suit to sizzle. He has even spiced up the boring world of politics interesting, because I certainly sat up and paid attention to the prime minister when Becks visited No 10. The footballer recently visited Sierra Leone in his role as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador and brought the issue of thirdworld child mortality rates into the spotlight. People may point to the PR images of him playing footie with kids in the dust or cuddling a baby, but it’s not like Becks will make money off it for the release of a new album or film. Many of the rich and famous may give part of their earnings to charities behind the scenes, but charities need volunteers as well. And if the volunteer is a super-sexy, super-nice family man with lots of adoring fans, it should be milked for all it is worth.
STEPPING OUT IN STYLE
SPRING is just around the corner, according to last week’s Paris Spring/Summer Fashion Week, and it now takes only days for the high street to copy the couture from the catwalks. Unfortunately, I favour staying warm over style, and my fashion sense disappears during the winter. But with sunshine on the way, it will soon be time to get trendy. All-in-one playsuits, floral tea dresses and them weird gladiator-style sandals are all the rage for 2008, and they are in shops or online already. The gowns shown by Armani, Christian Lacroix and Valentino ooze perfection, but don’t get worn in my world. Accessories, however, go a lot further, such as the timeless Chanel handbags. I could put myself on the waiting list for the season’s essential designer gear but my credit card wouldn’t withstand the shock, so I’ll stick to the high street for now.
Email: email@example.com www.scottishwomensconvention.org Join us in the Scottish Parliament followed by an evening receptio...