Sania Mirza is an Indian tennis star and one of the top doubles tennis players in the world. She was awarded the Arjuna Award from the Government of India in 2004. In 2006, Mirza was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India. It is the 4th highest Civilian Honour in India. In 2015, she was honored with Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and a year later she was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India’s 3rd highest civilian honour. She is the most successful Indian female tennis player.
Sania Mirza has been officially granted the Dubai Golden Visa. This will allow Sania and her husband Shoaib Malik, former Pakistan cricket captain, 10-year residency in the UAE. She always consider UAE as her second home.
Sania Mirza wants to inspire young athletes. She want to motivate kids to take sports early in their lives. Hence, she first launched a fully-functional tennis academy in Hyderabad. And now, she also launched two new tennis centres in Dubai’s Al Mankhool and Jumeirah Lake Towers.
In an Interview with Gulf News, Tennis Superstar said, “Dubai is my second home and it has been one for a very long time. I want to bring a sport like tennis to everyday life … Tennis is too much of an elite sport. We still push our kids towards cricket, especially if they are boys … I want that to change a little,” said Mirza. Excerpts from our interview with the tennis ace as we discuss her impending retirement, her career, and launching Sania Mirza Tennis Academy in Dubai …”
She also added, “Tennis is too much of an elite sport. People think tennis and golf are not accessible. But I want to change that mindset. You don’t have to be from an elite background to play this sport – especially in a place like Dubai. Secondly, we have been running a very successful tennis academy back home in Hyderabad, our flagship. It’s spread over four acres. But all I am trying to do is to bring tennis to the homes of all those communities from our subcontinent and beyond. And I feel a strong sense of giving it back. Dubai has been my second home for a long time and this feels so right.”
“With plans to encourage a new generation of young athletes and expand her tennis academy in the UAE, the woman who grew up in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad told Arab News that a biopic might be in the works, though there is “nothing concrete yet.”
The mindset is changing. The kind of education that sport gives you is so valuable. Sport teaches you to be resilient. It teaches you how to fight against the odds and teaches you how to be humble in victory. It teaches you that as long as you keep fighting, there can be another day. Sports teaches us life lessons that no education can perhaps give and there’s no one textbook that will teach you to handle wins and losses gracefully. I had completed my 12th standard and I attended college for a year and a half. But I had to choose between Wimbledon and college, and I chose college. And, look how that turned out for me … I am not saying every child learning tennis should become a professional. The goal is to play any sport and cultivate that fighting, never-say-die attitude. I am this person because I have played sport. I am not like this because I went to school … But sports teach you about commitment and discipline. There’s no other job that teaches a ten-year-old about discipline than a sport.”
To know more: Watch the full Interview at Gulf News.