Sharmila Nicollet, Golfer
Going pro at a sport like golfing isn't exactly what you'd expect from the average 15-year-old, but Sharmila was already repping India at the Asian Games by then. She's also the only Indian who plays regularly in the Ladies European Tour! "It's not intimidating when you love it," she smiles. "I've always found it extremely challenging, both mentally and physically. You play against yourself and the golf course." Golf can, however, be a bit of a boy's club, she admits.
"There's a major mismatch in terms of the number of tournaments, media coverage, and prize money between the genders. We, therefore, have to work that much harder to get the same amount of recognition and respect as the men do. I suppose it's just another challenge to add to the list," she says. Winning doesn't come without a good deal of hard work, though. "I train five times a week on the course, for approximately six hours a day. I also work out five days a week for two hours every evening, with sessions that are a good mix of cardio and weight training." And failure, she adds, "all par for the course! Nothing to be scared of."