I have stopped schooling FOR Golf - Golfing star, Tania Balasuriya | Sunday Observer

I have stopped schooling FOR Golf - Golfing star, Tania Balasuriya

School and sports were different focal points in her life. A few years ago she had to decide on her future path in life when she was in the GCE Ordinary Level class at Sri Jayewardenepura Balika Vidayalaya. She gave it much thought and finally decided on golf. ‘It will be the bread and butter in my life’ was her thought on this matter. Thereafter, Tania Balasuriya devoted her time to golf and became a top ranking golfer. The Youth Observer spoke to her recently about her golfing career.

Q : You restarted you training after a long layoff. How do you feel about it?

A: For a long time I did not practice golf. During the pandemic I spent more time on strength training. After gym training, I tried to keep up with my golfing. Now, we have started practices again. It is like a miracle. However, my abilities have not diminished even though I have not trained in the past months. I am really enjoying practises now.

Q :? Before the Covid pandemic you shone in your golfing career. How did you face this sudden situation?

A: I always have great faith and hope in my golfing. I was trying to enhance and stabilise my talents before the Covid pandemic.

But suddenly the game had to be stopped and I had time on my hands. That was a decision of nature. So, we had to bow our heads to it. I was a little sad about it. But what could we have done about this situation than adapt to it? We have been weakened as humans. That is the truth.

Q : Let us talk about your early golfing days. How did you take to golf?

A: I was attracted to golf from the age of five. I played golf in the small golf course my father had made in our garden and he encouraged me to play golf.

Q : How did you become an amateur golfer?

A: In my early days, a caddy told my father that there was an opportunity to train in golf at the Royal Colombo Golf Club (RCGC). He told my father that there had been a newspaper article about it during that time.It was about free training in golf at the RCGC. My father took me for this program and they selected me for training. I got the basic knowledge about golf during this training. The members of the Royal Colombo Golf Club selected me for golf and my coach Jehan de Saram has helped to brighten my golf career.

Q : Golf is an expensive sport.? How do you face this challenge?

A: I have plenty of help from the members of the Royal Colombo Golf Club. My coach Jehan de Saram gives me free lessons and helps me to stabilise in this game. So, money is not a barrier for my golf as yet.

Q :? At what age did you begin golf?

A: It was in 2013. I was in Grade seven and played for under-11 age group tournaments.

Q : What about your progress? in this sport?

A: After the basic training I won third place in the national championship. The following year I won second place and won first place the following year. That was in the mixed game. It was a great moment in my career.

Q :? During this time you suddenly decided to select sports for a career and decided to give up your studies. Why?

A: After the Ordinary Level exam I decided to give up schooling. Anyone can think of it as a challenging decision. But I did not have a problem in taking that decision and my parents encouraged it. I knew academic work was harder for me than sports. That was the main reason why I took this decision.

Q : Do you intend to become a? professional golfer?

A: Currently, I play in the amateur category. I aim to be a professional golfer in the future. I can have a career as a player and then I can become a coach and also get involved with other technical aspects of the game. So, I am not worried about my decision.

You represented the country several times as a golfer. Could you speak about this.

A: Yes, I have represented my country several times. I have travelled to several countries. I was thirteen years when I travelled to Thailand on my first foreign tour. Following which I travelled to India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Japan, Malayasia and Singapore.

Q : How were your experiences during these tours? Are you satisfied with them?

A: Not bad. I have played in several golf courses in the Asian region. If we have any competition it is with Thai golfers and not with golfers from any other country. If we need to be professional golfers we must participate in more golf games internationally. I lost this opportunity during the lock down period.

Q : Golf is like meditation. As a player what do you have to say about the game?

A: Yes. I think golf is a harder and more complex than other games. During a game we must think about wind, stance, variation of our shots and several other factors. Without a calm mind you cannot be successful at this game.

Q : Your sister is also a golf player. How is her sports career progressing?

A: Sherin is my younger sister who plays golf. She is ranked at number three in the golf player rankings and both of us have same dream about becoming professional golfers in the future.

Q :? What is it like to be a full time? golfer?

A: It is nothing special and is harder than schooling. Except for Sundays I leave home at 8.30 a.m. and start my training at the gym and the golf course. During the lunch break, I have my home-made lunch and take a short break from training. In the evening, I start playing and go for the gym session. After gym I go home around 9.30 pm.

Q :? Finally, what have to say? to your fans?

A: First of all, you must think about your soul. You can hear your inner voice. You must heed that guidance. Do not be afraid. I try to follow it every time. However, without my coach I cannot get ahead in my golfing career. He always coaches me and my sister free of charge. I appreciate his generous help.

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