The journey of a professional cricketer, or any sportsman for that matter is often influenced and supported by individuals in their lives. These individuals empower them to follow their inclinations and passion. On the occasion of Women’s Day, our Royals took out a moment to pay tribute to these female figures who have contributed to their growth in the sport. Women play multi-faceted roles in today’s world, and often, they are selfless, putting their family and close kin before themselves. The Royals paid their tributes to the Super Women in their lives that helped them get to where they are in their careers. The captain of the Royals, Ajinkya Rahane explained how his mother and wife are his two biggest friends that back and support him with all his endeavours. “I am quite lucky that my biggest friends; my mother and my wife are always behind me no matter what the situation is. They always support me and that extra push from them, it means a lot to me as it gives me motivation and inspiration to perform for my country, and that’s what matters!” One mother even ensured that her son took up cricket. Krishnappa Gowtham recounted his early days, when he explored cricket as a possible career with the rock-solid support of his mother, but kept the pursuit hidden from his father. His mother played a major role in Gowtham attending his first ever training camp. “Mom was actually the one that made sure I went to a camp in my initial days when I started my cricket; she was one of the main causes for me starting cricket”. The youngest member of the Royals, Riyan Parag also holds a lot of strong sentiments for his mother and the role she played in letting him focus on cricket, despite the pressures and demands of academia for youngsters at his age. “My mother has been a real support to my career and hope she stays the same and keeps supporting me.” Shreyas Gopal comes from a family where taking up sports is encouraged. His mother, Amitha is a former state level volleyball player. He goes on to describe his mother as the ‘backbone’ in his career. “The only woman who has inspired me and been a backbone to my career and as a person is my mother”. Perhaps the most beautiful takes on this topic came from the head coach of the Royals; Paddy Upton who listed four influential female figures in his life by saying “My mother is number 1; giver of life, my wife; very inspiring, my 12-year-old daughter, Leela also inspires me and the fourth woman that inspires me, and I am not sure if she is a woman – is Mother Nature. I love nature, come from a beautiful place and is the giver of life”. Personifying nature is a very heartfelt and beautiful way to celebrate Women’s day. The Royal Sparks is an initiative that has allowed many aspiring, young women a chance to take up cricket professionally. With women’s cricket in India achieving great heights in the last few years, the Royal Sparks initiative couldn’t have come around at a better time. The girls receive high quality coaching and are put through training drills of the highest order. At the Sparks camps, our coaches try to develop them into all-round cricketers. While the Royals make waves in the IPL, we have one eye on the future of women’s cricket in India. Essentially for the Royals, Women’s Day is every day! Our Royals recognize that women are a constant feature in their lives and have imbibed lots of strong values and inspiration from these figures. Women are royalty and deserve to be celebrated every day of our lives.
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