2 years ago
Bouncing forward from setbacks
Numerous bumps and bruises along her way hardly stopped Sadina Shrestha, 28, from garnering accolades through her basketball skills. Having played for the national basketball team for 12 years now, she was appointed as the Captain of the national women’s basketball team in 2012.
Ever since her career in basketball started, she has participated in various national as well as international games including World Championship in Greece, South Asian Beach Games in Sri Lanka, All India Tournament, Asian Games in South Korea and SABA Championship, among others. Recently, she completed the six-month-long course from Leipzig University, Germany to become the first Nepali woman to complete an international coach course in basketball. Being the captain of the national team, Shrestha has also been working as a full-time basketball coach at St Xavier’s School, Jawalakhel for the past 10 years.
In an interview with My City’s Sonam Lama, Shrestha talked about her experiences as a national basketball player.
You started with basketball at a young age of 14, what drew you to sports?
As a teenager, I was highly keen at sports and participated in interschool competitions. With every step further, I got opportunities to learn with every game I played. I think motivation at the right time worked best for me. I received enormous support from my family and at the time of my continuous struggle. Having my elder sister as the national women’s football captain during the initial days of my career also helped me grow as a player. I have been receiving the same amount of support from my husband and family which has been contributing to perform my best.
How challenging is it to be the captain of the national team?
Playing as a captain is quite more challenging than how you simply perform as a player. As a captain you not only hold an authority to guide the team members but also you have to maintain the team’s unity and coordination. As a captain, however, it is important to acknowledge the strengths and weaknesses of the team members in order to make it work for the best in interest of the game. There could be tussles and arguments developing within the players which should be resolved to maintain the team’s strength. Nevertheless, although the captaincy added responsibility, I have been able to gain new experience preparing the team to achieve its goal.
What do you think is required to take Nepali sports to the next level?
First of all, the training sessions should be facilitated with enough space for practice. On that note, establishing ample number of indoor basketball courts could be much of a help. Compared to earlier times, there has been a slight fall in the national games taking place now. I believe that should be focused on in order to enhance the players’ performance. Although the players have gradually been getting international exposure, it is equally essential that they get national priority. Unlike football and cricket games, basketball tournaments hardly get space in media or state authority. Therefore, I think we could work in collaboration to mitigate such hindrances and help take Nepali sports to progressive heights.
Having worked as a basketball coach for ten years now, do you think today’s youths are indulged enough in sports?
There still exists the scenario where parents stifle their children to be on their own and also where people find it difficult to find scope in sports. However, I have been fortunate enough to experience the opposite situation. As a coach I find parents being aware and concerned about the full-fledged development of their children which is possible through sports and extracurricular activities in school. There are keen players who could make a strong team if they continue with proper training, but they lack determination and long term vision to achieve something big and different.
What are your future plans? Have you been gearing up for another match?
After the completion of my International Coach Course in Basketball from Germany, I have lately been occupied working as a basketball coach for school students while also continuing with my training as well as coaching. There are emerging young talents in the field and they should be given the opportunity to proudly represent the country. Moreover, I am looking forward to participate in the upcoming 13th South Asian Games which is taking place in Kathmandu in 2019. This would probably be my last participation before I officially retire as a player and I have been gearing up to make it big for our country at the upcoming SAG.