Neha Aggarwal – Indian Table Tennis Champ

Neha Aggarwal is an Indian Table Tennis Champion and recently competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She is currently in her 3rd year at St.Stephen’s College, Delhi University completing her BA degree.

I thought it would be interesting to do an interview with her since we share the same name and play similar sports.
Full name – Neha Aggarwal
Date of Birth – 11 jan 1990
Residence – New Delhi, India

Career Highlights – Participated in 2008 Beijing Olympics.  Gold medal in 2008 Commonwealth youth games. Bronze medal in 2009 Commonwealth championships in Glasgow. 4 times Junior National Champion. Bronze medal in 2006 asian championship. Highest world rank- 18 in U-18 girls.

Style of play: Right handed, attacking

Neha U.Whats it like being a female athlete in India?

Neha A. Since girls are not encouraged to take up sports as a career in india, its quiet a challenge for a girl to be an athlete in this country. The society has its own orthodox views and parents want their daughters to live indoors. We need to change our mindsets. I am fortunate enough to have parents who encouraged me to play tt (table tennis) and all I am today is because of their efforts. Now we see the trend is changing, more girls are coming up and its a very positive sign. I hope every girl who wants to be an athlete gets full support by her family.
Neha U. What is the best part of being a tt player?

Neha A. I think being a tt player itself is the best thing that happened to me and its my passion. I consider every single aspect of being a tt player the best it could be!

Neha U. Whats the worst part of being a tt player?

Neha A. I think tt does not get tht recognition and glamour which it must get. Its only about cricket in india. Our efforts have not been recognized. Also, we lack sponsors which is the biggest hurdle for any player.

Neha U. How do you cope after a match loss?

Neha A. After a lose a match, its important for me to not be dejected and be positive and keep the confidence alive. I immediatley do an analysis(if possible video analysis) of my match, figure out my mistakes and make sure I work on them in my next training session.

Neha U. What is your hope for Indian sports?

Neha A. I think its a boom period for Indian sports. Our medals in the Commonwealth Games are an example. India has proved its mettle to the world. The day is not far when we will win medals in bigger events like the Olympics, Asians and World championships. We already have world champions in sports like shooting, archery, boxing and wrestling and we also won medals in youth olympics which shows that the young generation is capable and has a bright future. Even the lesser known sports have been doing well. I’m very optimistic about the future of India in sports and we will definately improve our standards even further.

Neha U. What is your message to young women who want to follow their dreams?

Neha A. My message to young women is that you must work hard towards your goal fearlessly, there might be obstacles in the path, but you must have the courage to overcome them. Hard work always pays.

Neha U. What is your honest opinion about Bollywood and the how women are portrayed in Indian cinema?

Neha A. I think in the past few years Bollywood has contributed some fantastic movies which were also been nominated in the oscars. Its a great achievement. we can obviously boast about our beautiful actresses. Indian cinema has been in recent times taking up social issues as the main theme in their movies which have had a great impact and have shown that women are at par with men and are not the weaker sex. Movies like fashion, corporate, raajneeti have potrayed women in power.

Neha U. Whats it like having the name Neha?

Neha A. Well, Ilove my name because  its short and sweet and specially its meaning-’loving’. I dont like the fact that its such a common name in India but at the same time its good because there are so many who can relate to each other!

Neha U. What has been the worst mispronunciation of your name?

Neha A. Chinese call me Ne-Hao!!!

Neha U. Whats your favorite book/movie/song right now?

Neha A. Book-Irecently read Andre Agassi’s autobiography ‘Open’

Movie- Danbangg

Song- Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd is my all time favorite.

Neha U. What your favorite city in the world?

Neha A. New York.

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Neha Uberoi Khangoora

Neha Uberoi Khangoora is a former professional tennis player, social entrepreneur and health and wellness advocate. She is the co-founder of South Asians in Sports (sainsports.com), a network of South Asian professionals who work in the sports industry.