Delhi: Najafgarh businessman grooming daughters for stardom

- July 7, 2024

Sehrawat’s elder daughter Harishta was in Slovenia for the past three years before joining a private academy run by a corporate house in Mumbai this January.

Delhi: Sunil Sehrawat, a businessman and sports loving father of two grown up daughters from Najafgarh has envisaged long term plans for his children that aim excellence at the international level in future.

To achieve the target, Sehrawat has made huge investments by sending his daughters to Europe for training.

Sehrawat’s elder daughter Harishta was in Slovenia for the past three years before joining a private academy run by a corporate house in Mumbai this January. His school-going younger daughter Khushboo has been practicing in Lisbon, Portugal, for the past eight months.

The father monitors the training of Harishta and often travels with her, while the mother accompanies the younger daughter.

“We have a big joint family of more than 50 members. Every other day there was some function in the family that was unavoidable and a big distraction,” the father said.

“I wanted my kids to pursue athletics. The best thing was to send them abroad for training. We searched for a throwing coach online and started practicing in Slovenia.”

Harshita’s appearance at the 2015 School National Games was a small step towards a bigger goal in life.

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At the 2024 National Inter State Senior Athletics Championship in Panchkula, the 21-year-old won silver in women’s hammer throw with a distance of 62.20m. It was a personal best.

The key to success has been staying focused, Harshita said.

“I don’t watch TV. No movies,” she explained. “I love to spend my leisure hours with my family.”

The first two months were challenging in Slovenia as she had to cook her own meals after practice.

“I was lazy after practice. I felt homesick. But later I realised I had to do my own stuff,” explained Harshita.

The Delhi thrower contacted throwing coach Vladimir Kevo of Slovenia on internet.

“We paid the coach 1,000 Euros per month,” she added.

A scholarship from Delhi government in 2019 was a big support. “Our annual expenditure in Slovenia was about Rs 25 lakh,” the father said.

The weather in Slovenia, Harshita said, was ideal for practice.

“There was no pollution and the country has good indoor facilities to practice during winters.”

She started with sprints and then moved to discus and shot put before finally switching to hammer throw. According to Sehrawat, her daughter learned the hammer throw fundamentals through indigenous methods.

“We made a throwing equipment with a small sand bag weighing 500 grams and tied it with a rubber band to learn the hammer throw technique,” revealed the father.

The Sehrawat family has chalked out realistic goals for Harshita.

“This year our target was 62m and we were successful in achieving that.”

She won silver with a throw of 62.20m. Earlier in May at the Federation Cup Athletics Championships in Bhubaneswar, the Delhi thrower won gold (59.79m).

The target in 2025 is to cross the 65m barrier.

“We are happy with the progress. We are hopeful of further improvement next year,” the father added.

Also read: Delhi athletes face mixed results at National Athletics Championships

Making Rapid Strides

The spotlight during the National Youth Athletics Meet held in Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, in June was on Delhi’s teenage sprinter Neeru Pathak.

She clocked 52.85 seconds to win gold medal in the U-18 girls 400m event and improved national record of 52.98 seconds. Her Harshita Sehrawat won silver in the National Inter State Athletics in hammer throw event. She trained in Slovenia for three years outstanding performance also earned her a ticket to the World U-20 Athletics Championships to be held in August in Lima, Peru.

Neeru also competed in women’s 200m and finished fourth in the event at the National Inter State Senior Athletics Championships in Panchkula.

“My focus during the World U20 in August will be 400m,” Neeru said. “But I will continue to compete over 200m to improve my speed.”