KUALA LUMPUR: K. Sujithra is only 12 years old. Yet, she has endured so much hardship to not only excel in squash but also in her studies.
On the school front, the former student of SK Marian Convent in Ipoh did well to score 5As in the Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) examination last week.
On the court, she did well to finish third in the girls’ Under-13 category in the Australian Junior Open in Sydney in April and won the Under-12 title in the Kuala Lumpur Junior Closed last month.
Thanks to her sterling results in squash and studies, Sujithra has been offered a place at Kolej Yayasan Saad in Malacca. If she gets past the college’s strict selection criteria, she will get a five-year scholarship from Khazanah Nasional to complete her studies at the college.
Her mother, Meera Devi Krishnan, is pleased that Sujithra managed to score straight As in all five subjects despite missing some classes due to competitions.
While things may look rosy now, only Sujithra knows the pain and struggle she has to endure.
For three years, her parents – Kunasekaran Rajoo and Meera – accompanied her from their home town in Ipoh to the Jalan Duta courts in Kuala Lumpur on weekends to train under coaches Lawrence Kwan and Rashidi Abdul Hamid.
She travels by train to KL on Friday evenings and returns to Ipoh on Sunday evenings.
On weekdays, she trains under former international Kuan Choy Lin in Ipoh.
Her world crumbled when her father died of heart attack in February last year.
Undaunted, her mother continued to send her to train in KL as she wanted to fulfil her husband’s dream of seeing Sujithra become a national player.
Sujithra, who is the youngest among four siblings, still misses her dad.
“He had sacrificed a lot to see me excel in squash. I wouldn’t be a squash player if not for my parents,” said Sujithra.
“I must thank my mother. Although she is just a housewife, she is continuing to fulfil my dad’s dream to see me do well in squash,” said Sujithra, who will feature in the Under-13 category of the 9th REDtone KL International Junior Open squash championships at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil from Dec 1-6.
Last year, Sujithra did well to finish runner-up in the Under-11 category.
Her mother is glad that their sacrifices are beginning to pay off.
“It is not easy for a single parent like me to send my daughter for trainings and competitions,” said Meera.
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