Shubham Singh Dhanda’s Unfulfilled Dreams as a Sportsperson
Shubham, from a young age, had an inclination towards sports and physical activities. His competitive nature and healthy sportsperson spirit made him stand out among his teammates.
While growing up, he played many sports and participated in different competitions, but his most favorite sport was basketball. He was extremely passionate about basketball as a child used to imagine himself playing professionally.
His rendezvous with basketball started when he was a wee lad of 16 years, in Kashmir. At that young age, he would train himself for 4 to 6 hours daily. His dream to play at a recognized level came true when he got selected for zonal basketball matches.
Later, he got selected as vice-captain for the team to participate in the state-level basketball competition, representing Kashmir. Even though the team did not win the championship, Shubham got a selection in the National team based on his outstanding performance for the national championship.
The national championship for basketball in 2015 was held in Delhi by the Ministry of Youth. Shubham’s team did not make it past the semi-finals, but the experience still was something worth cherishing.
In 2014, Shubham was selected for State Tournaments but got rejected for the National championship. Shubham believes it was that rejection that made him work harder towards improving his game. All the hard work did eventually pay off when Shubham got selected for Nationals in 2015.
Shubham did not restrict himself to basketball. In 2014, he also played badminton representing his school in the inter-school competitions and won against most of the schools. Ministry of Youth selected Shubham for State Level Badminton Tournament, held in Kashmir.
He played against several districts all around the state and won a silver medal in the State Level Badminton Tournament. He did not apply for the National Level Tournament in Badminton because of the approaching board examinations.
In his teens, he was as attracted to sports activities as a moth is to light. In 2015, he participated in a national competition for sports and athletics held in Gurugram by an organization called Harmony. Only a handful of students got selected for each sports category from every state. and Shubham was one of them.
The tournament did not have a category for basketball, so Shubham tried for Chess. He got selected after a couple of matches against some top players from the state. Unfortunately, he couldn’t win a medal in the nationals.
The devastating reality of sports and sportspersons in India is truly heart-breaking. The increasing corruption, lack of infrastructure, and sponsorship in the field of games and athletics have left many sportspersons estranged.
In 2016, when Shubham shifted to Delhi for further studies, his friends, family, and peers talked him out of sports. They made a good argument about how a career in sports is frowned upon and is unstable in India. Having a strong passion for basketball, Shubham had a childhood dream of being a professional player. But if truth be told, basketball has a bleak future in India. Unlike the USA, where there are organizations and associations like the NBA, and an enthusiastic audience for it, India has absolutely no future scope for basketball as a career.
Players who have represented the country in various international sports events do not get any recognition for it. A lot of former Olympic and Asian Games winners have left sports to pursue any other career that would help them support their family and would meet their financial needs.
With a heavy heart, Shubham moved on from his shattered dreams of being a professional player and looked out for a more conventional career. At that time, he believed that all his years of hard work and sweat towards his goal went in vain.