Arnisha Chowdhury

AMavenShooting Mademoiselle.

Arnisha Chowdhury is an open category Rifle Shooter fromKolkata,West Bengal with already 3 Gold medals to her brilliant career. She is passionate about being the best and supports causes that improvise the sport and facilities for players. She became a champion right from interschool tournaments, won a Gold medal in SGFI, National Shooting Championship and got selected for the International Shooting Championship Honour at Germany, 2019. She was presented ‘Telegraph Honour Certificate -2018’. Having observed her perform in the National Shooting Championship, the great – Heinz Reinkemeier (German Air-Rifle Ace, qualified with ISSF and other international bodies for shooting.  He is an active participant, trainer, scientist, author and coach.)subsequently sent Arnisha an invitation.

She came 5th in the 14th International Shooting Championship at Hannover, Germany. Selected for World Grand Prix&International Walther Cup at Smederevo, Serbia.  Shegot a Gold medal for India as her first International Grand Slam, and also got a Gold medal in 53rd National Shooting Championship at Bhopal.

This young bright, focused lady shares some of her story of passion with us, here are the excerpts:

PV: What qualities make a good shooter? What was your motivation for getting into this sport?

Arnisha: While I am still yet to ace the game, in my opinion, shooters need focus,determination, ambition, the capability to cope with stress,  definitively a seasoned coach mentor within the family and outside.  Since childhood, I’ve been taught to love the smell of gunpowder as my father is an ex shooter who inspired me to start shooting with an air rifle when I was in 5th grade. He took me to the rifle club in the year 2015 to discover my inner spark through rifle shooting.

PV: What is the one thing you always do after a good performance? What do you do to calm your butterflies while you compete?

Arnisha: Post a satisfactoryround, I ensure that I write a log for the small mistakes, enabling me to work upon and rectify them in my next match. Composure is critical to my focus, I usually retort to self-talking or humming my favourite song.

PV:Okay that’s interesting. So Arnisha, your next favourite sport would be?

Arnisha: My immediate preferred sport is horse riding and polo. I enjoy the thrill of equestrian sport.

PV: How did you prep for Commonwealth games?

Arnisha: I am truly blessed and indebted to my coach YuniartiIlyas.  While I also follow my father, ArkaPratim Chowdhury guidance and instructions of my mentor GaganNarang. The upcoming Commonwealth games, in England 2022 would be quite interesting and I am expecting to win a Gold for India.

PV: Tell us more about your well-deserved 3 gold medals. What were the challenges and how you kept your cool? 

Arnisha: My first best gold medal was CBSE National 2016 as that was my first national-level competition. In2018, during the 51st West Bengal state shooting championship, I defeated a Commonwealth medalist as well as youth Olympic medalist; that made a new state record(stands unbroken even now). Grand Prix of 2019 at Serbia,  I won my first medal for my country India. I have been coached and trained to always consider that I am the best competitor of myself, so I do not get frazzled by competitor ranking. I prefer to enjoy the match with integrity and not get worried or tense.

PV: What is the most challenging part for you to manage between sportswoman, daughter and young Indian girl?

Arnisha: The most ambitious part for me is to manage my studies alongside my travel and games. In India, it is astonishing to face extreme views and opinions,for instance of losing a match. Coping up with failure and parallelly facing criticism is by far the most difficult part of being a young Indian.It impacts my confidence,studies and mindset, but my father and my family always encourage me. I admire western societies, where the education system and society are quite sensitive towards sports personalities, right from a tender age.

PV: You are India’s pride and a future Indian ace shooter, how did this razor-sharp focus on the sport change your life?

Arnisha: Thankyou, I appreciate your words, yet I am working on my focus because shooting is akin to meditation.  The focus we have is never enough, thoughts make you wander.Nonetheless, focus, calm mind and strong resolve have helped me to improve my capabilities to concentrate on my studies and other daily activities.

PV: What are the chances of you getting home a gold medal in Commonwealth or any international shooting competition in 2020?

Arnisha: Currently all the matches are postponed due to the widespread pandemic COVID-19 but when they will be conducted, there is a high probability of me getting the gold medal for my country. I am keeping my fingers crossed and eyes on the aim.

PV: Indeed, wish this Pandemic passes soon, and all of getting back to what we do best. Arnisha, what is your advice to young women athletes, sportswomen?

Arnisha: Wow, advice is a heavy word, but my suggestion to all women athletes is –‘Do not give up, even if you face any massive failure, life is only testing you. And do not allow others to manipulate you. Also never be shy or afraid to raise your voice for anything inappropriate. Never ever quit, Keep Going’.

PV: Phew, quite a bit of wisdom there. What makes you nostalgic the most? Or what is that you feel could be improvised for shooting as a sport? Have you met Ace AbhinavBindra yet?

Arnisha: To be honest there’s no such specific thing what makes me feel nostalgic, while I am away. I supposethe government should work at the grass-root level to encourage shooters.Providing for world-class facilities not just for shooters but also for all the sportsperson to develop and encourage sports which are Olympic affiliated. This will encourage the youth and also bring pride to our nation. Yes, I vividly recall my meeting with AbhinavBindra it was December 2015, I was in Delhi for my first nationals, where he was playing his last nationals. It was quite an exceptional moment.

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