Whoever said women aren’t good at sports, can’t make their goals (whether it’s in football or in life) and can’t make team captains and even win championships?! Aditi Chauhan is a living, breathing example of one of those women and we just can’t get enough of her bold and brilliant moves – in this case, on the football field!
Ever since she was a child Aditi was always inclined towards sports. Also, growing up with an elder brother, she and he would play a lot of different sports together. Aditi would accompany him to his karate classes and ended up earning herself a black belt. She’s also played basketball at the district level and has dabbled in athletics too. All of this was before she started playing football. At just 15, Aditi was selected for the U19 Delhi team and played her first ever football match which made her fall in love with the game. It was truly a ‘match’ made in heaven.
Her game plan…
When Aditi first started playing football she was unsure of how far she could go given that there was no professional women’s football league and not enough tournaments. She would often think to herself that if playing football, which was a team sport, was a really good idea, then what if she had chosen an individual sport instead. But today she says that she’s really happy with her choice because its football that has gotten her the recognition and fame that she enjoys today.
“I had played just one national game before I was called up for the U19 national team trials and I was ecstatic. Every athlete dreams of representing their country and I got that opportunity when I was just 17,” says a very proud Aditi. Even though she didn’t have a lot of experience, she knew that she still had to make the most of it. As the trials went on, her confidence grew along with her obvious skills for the sport. Aditi worked hard to achieve her target of being the first choice for goalkeeper for the national team.
Everything I am today and what I’ve managed to achieve, if at all, is because of the support and encouragement that I’ve got from my parents. Sports is my passion and that’s why I’ve studied M.Sc. in Sports Management so that I can contribute to the sports industry in India even after I retire from playing football.”
Owing it all to the game
“Everything I am today and what I’ve managed to achieve, if at all, is because of the support and encouragement that I’ve got from my parents. Sports is my passion and that’s why I’ve studied M.Sc. in Sports Management so that I can contribute to the sports industry in India even after I retire from playing football.” Looks like Aditi has got her whole future planned out for herself at such a young age, proving that this gal knows exactly what she wants out of life and makes sure she gets it.
Aditi says that her biggest inspiration is none other than tennis star Rafael Nadal.
When asked about her experience on playing for the West Ham United Ladies football club, Aditi replies ecstatically, “It was incredible!”, and says that she couldn’t be happier to have had the opportunity to play for the club. She says that she’s technically improved a lot and has a much better understanding of the game which for a goalkeeper is extremely important.
Keeping the ball rolling
As of now Aditi has set herself short-term targets and is working on getting her full confidence back and be 100 percent fit again after suffering an injury which put her out of the game for 10 months. She hopes to be back in the national team squad for the Asian Games this year.
Aditi shares some bold and valuable words of advice to those aiming to pursue sports professionally and get their ball rolling. “To pursue your passion, which may be in any field, you need to believe in yourself and your abilities no matter what people say and work hard every single day to achieve your dreams.” For Aditi, keeping her eye on the ball, literally, is what got her to where she is today. “The road is not going to be easy at all but that’s what makes the feeling of achieving your target all the more fun and enjoyable.” Aditi has proven to us that she’s been a bold game changer in the field of sports for women everywhere.