India’s Grand Slam champion offers to take complete care of the Kurnool girl’s training programme
‘Against All Odds’ is the name of the to-be-released autobiography of India’s best-ever women’s tennis player Sania Mirza. True to the name, the famous Hyderabadi has decided to provide free training to another budding tennis player Shaik Jafreen, who represented India in the Deaflympics held in Sofia recently.
Jafreen’s father S. Zakeer Ahmed, an advocate by profession in Kurnool, has been struggling to raise funds to sustain his daughter’s interest in the sport.
Early this week, they had also called on Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy to provide financial assistance to help them pursue tennis.
The break-up for the training programme at a private academy in the city came to about Rs. 12 lakh per annum for 15-year-old Jafreen, an Intermediate first year student in KRM Government Junior College (Kurnool).
On coming to know about this, the 27-year-old Sania offered to take care of the Kurnool girl’s complete training programme.
“The fact that she is playing tennis despite all odds is itself great for the sport.”
“The whole idea of setting up my academy (Sania Mirza Tennis Academy) is to continue the legacy of tennis in India,” the two-time Grand Slam winner said.
“Rarely, does one come across someone like Jafreen who despite being hearing impaired plays tennis with such passion.”
“It is unfortunate that she had to miss out participating in the 2012 London Paralympics due to some communication gap,” she said.
Sania’s father Imran Mirza spoke to Jafreen’s father on Friday evening and invited them to visit the Academy at the earliest.