Bull’s-eye: 13-year-old Naga archer to represent India
Dimapur, June 25: A thirteen-year-old Naga girl could be the next trailblazer in the field of archery from the state—following the giant footsteps of Olympian Chekrovolu Swuro.
Nikesa Sakhrie has been selected to represent India at the World Archery Youth Championships in Madrid, Spain this year.
Speaking to Eastern Mirror via telephone from her training academy at Katra in Jammu, the teenager expressed happiness on being chosen to represent India in Spain along with four other girls.
“When I took up the sport, my coach felt I had good form and discipline, so in 2017 after speaking with my father, I came to this academy in Katra,” said Sakhrie.
She is a class 8 student at The Study-L’école Internationale in Pondicherry; and she took up archery in class 6 at her school as an after-school activity in 2016. She initially wanted to take up piano classes as an extracurricular activity but her father encouraged her to take up something different— like archery.
Nikesa is the daughter of Ketusilie Sakhrie, pastor at the Naga Christian Fellowship (NCF) in Pondicherry. He also spoke to Eastern Mirror and said that as soon his daughter took up archery, her coach at the school gave him his business card saying Nikesa had great potential and could even reach the Olympics.
“The coach even offered to train her for free outside school after she chose archery as co-curricular activity; and then we enrolled her full-time at the academy in Katra,” said the pastor.
When asked how she manages schoolwork and her training at the academy, she said that 10 months is for training at Katra, and two months study.
“The teachers help me a lot and guide me for these two months which makes it better for me,” said Sakhrie. She also said that she misses school even though she is getting used to being away from it.
Her father revealed that she passed with flying colours after studying rigorously for two months the previous year. “The principal and teachers are always encouraging her to pursue her dreams; they have helped her a lot,” said Sakhrie.
“Initially we thought studies are more important but the education market is saturated I feel,” said Sakhrie adding that before she cleared class 10, they wanted to see if she could make it in the sport.
“She is playing very well and it is up to her if she wants to pursue it as a full time career now,” said Sakhrie.
Some of her achievements so far include winning a gold medal at the Sphoorti Mayor Cup and two silver medals at the mini-sub-junior nationals. She has also participated in Khelo India, Senior Archery Nationals and South Asian Cup trials.