Hearing and speech impairment has done little to dilute Shaik Jafreen’s passion for tennis and the 15-year-old from Kurnool is set to represent India in the Sofia Deaflympics to be held in Bulgaria from July 26
In an era when innovations on the communications front are shrinking the world, she has a major handicap – cannot speak and comprehend properly what the others say. But, the indefatigable Shaik Jafreen is now keen to let her tennis racket do the talking with her selection to represent India in the Sofia Deaflympics to be held in Bulgaria from July 26.
“This is great news to me. I am really determined to prove a point or two,” gestures the 15-year-old hearing and speech-impaired tennis player from Kurnool. Her father S. Zakeer Ahmed is an advocate. For someone whose dreams of taking part in the 2012 London Paralympics were dashed because of the poor handling of entries for the event, Jafreen strongly believes that the Sofia edition can well be the turning point of her career.
“I badly need a big win and if I get that there, it should do a world of good to me,” she conveys her desire .
She underwent a one-month intensive training session under Anirudh at the KSLTA in Bangalore and also bagged a gold medal in the 2012 Punjab National championship in the hearing and speech-impaired category. Yet, it has been a real struggle for this girl from a relatively small town to be in the competitive circuit as she has little support outside her own family.
Her father even disposed of his plot to let Jafreen pursue her passion for the sport with costs often coming to about Rs. 3 lakh per annum. “She was so dejected when I once threw up my hands that she refused to touch food. I then decided to support her at any cost,” says the father. Jafreen, an Intermediate first year student in KRM Government Junior College, will be joining the national camp in Delhi from July 10.