It was a dream come true for Nagaland-based tennis sensation Lenien Jamir after bagging a prestigious athletic scholarship at Monmouth University in the United States of America.
Jamir, 19, described the scholarship as 'once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" and believes that her dream was fulfilled by plenty of hard work and staying focused to her goals.
“It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and is going to be a whole new chapter for me. I don’t remember my life before tennis. I have been balancing my studies as well,” Lenien Jamir told ThePrint.
“Because of board exams, I could not go on tours. I stopped playing tennis to prepare for exams. But once it got over, I started playing college tennis and trained for it. Looking at colleges, I wanted to go to the US,” she added.
Who is Lenin Jamir?
Jamir is a 19-year-old tennis player. She hails from Mokokchung district in Nagaland. The district is the cultural center of the Ao people and the most important urban centre - economically and politically - in northern Nagaland.
She will become the first-ever tennis player from Nagaland to join the US collegiate tennis circuit.
When did she start playing tennis?
Jamir developed an early love for tennis. Ever since she could hold a tennis racquet, the Nagaland-athlete started showing keen interest in the sport. She was barely six-year-old when she started playing the sport for the first time.
However, she was enamoured with swimming and Taekwondo first before settling with Tennis.
Luckily, she also found support from her family, as they decided to give wings to her dreams by moving to Guwahati, Assam, to ensure that their ward gets the best facility.
She has won over 20 All India Tennis Association (AITA) domestic singles titles so far apart from numerous championships in other Asian as well as African nations.
What will the scholarship mean for her?
Through the prestigious athletic scholarship at Monmouth University in the United States, Jamir will join as an undergraduate student to pursue her majors in International Relations in the New Jersey-based university’s Honors School.
She will represent the University’s women’s tennis team at the collegiate level tournaments.
It must be noted that famous names like John Isner, Kevin Anderson and Tennys Sandgren have all played collegiate tennis in the US before turning professional.
When does she depart for the US?
Jamir was set to leave for the US in August 2020 initially. But due to international borders being closed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, she will set off for the US on January 7, 2021.