Article on Aparajitha Balamurukan

Four years after she first held a squash racquet in her hand, Chennai-based Aparajitha Balamurukan (14) has registered her presence as a player of promise at the state, national and international levels. This energetic youngster has won her second international title in the under-15 category at the Milo All Star International Squash Championship held in Kuala Lumpur from May 22-30. A week later, as if to prove that her international title wasn’t a fluke, she bagged the under-15 girls title at the Penang International Squash Championship concluded on June 1.

Born in an affluent family to businessman Balamurukan and homemaker Sumathy, Aparajitha who also has a younger sister following in her footsteps, dabbled in tennis, swimming, dancing and music for sometime till she was fortuitously introduced to squash by a family friend. At age ten she signed up for a coaching camp in squash fundamentals at the ICL Academy and displayed such natural flair and aptitude for this fast-paced game that she was quickly inducted into an ICL squad. “I received great support from our coach Hari Om Tripathi and others in the academy. It helped me improve my skills and raise my game,” recalls this class X student of the Tamil Nadu matriculation board affiliated Church Park School, Chennai, who has her sights on winning the Asian Junior to be held in Korea on July 23.

A quick learner and innately competitive, Aparajitha won the girls under-11 National and Interstate Squash Championship in Chennai in 2004, and the girls under-15 title in the national and interstate Squash Team Champion-ships held in 2006 in Chennai and 2007 in Ajmer. Moreover, she bagged the under-11 girls title in the Milo All Star Malaysian Junior Open Squash Championship in 2004, and was the losing finalist at the Singapore Junior Open in the girls under-13 category in 2005 and in the Scottish Junior Open in 2006.

Success however has extracted a price in terms of hard work and discipline. This young champion devotes over two hours to practice and training twice a day at the  Academy with her coaches Cyrus Poncha, Major Maniam and Balamurugan.

Acknowledging the support and encouragement she receives from the Church Park School principal and teachers, Aparajitha has set a high bar for herself. “My ambition is to become the No. 1 squash player, and with the systematic training I’m receiving and international exposure I’ve gained, I believe that’s an achievable goal,” she says.

Education World

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About Cyrus Poncha
I was born and lived in Bombay before moving to Chennai in 2001 to coach the Indian national squash team....what a journey its been!!

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