While Janvi was waiting for her girls 61kg final wrestling bout against Delhi’s Yashita in the Khelo India Youth Games 2023 at the Rajarathinam Stadium here, her coach Ajmer Malik gave her few tips on how to shoot good images on a mobile phone and promptly asked her to showcase what she learnt by clicking photos of people around. A few minutes later, the 16-year-old from Sonepat regrouped herself and thoroughly dominated the bout to clinch the gold medal with technical superiority. Khelo India Youth Games 2023: Assam Tea-Seller’s Daughter Panchami Sonowal Hopes KIYG Medal Will Give Her Platform To Face-Off Against Mirabai Chanu.

Shifting focus or multi-tasking isn’t new to Janvi as Malik’s Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Academy in Gohana encourages the players to do different things to relax themselves. A typical day at the academy starts with blowing the Shaankh (shell) as part of a meditation session and the gruelling training session at time ends with players grooving on to the latest numbers played by the in-house DJ at the training centre.

"It (DJ and dance) is not a daily affair, generally it’s three days a week, and all the kids eagerly wait for the DJ nights. That helps them relax from the rigorous training session day in and day out," said Malik, who has also shaped the career of Olympian Sonam Malik.

Janvi admits that they all look forward to the dance sessions but that is not what attracted her to the academy in the first place. Her lack of interest in studies made her farmer parents look for an alternate career option for their only daughter, and they soon found their way to Malik’s academy — a one-of-a-kind institute that simultaneously runs a tennis academy and a wrestling akhada.

There’s a reason for that -- Malik, a two-time national silver medallist wrestler, tried hard to shape his son Ajay into a world beater wrestler. But as fate would have it, Ajay went on to become a junior national tennis champion, despite training entirely on the make-shift mud tennis court built for him by his father.

The academy boasts of nine tennis courts, and two standard wrestling mats, where around 70 players (35 in tennis and 35 in wrestling) are currently training, and Malik says there’s a cut-throat competition between the players of each discipline to better each other. Khelo India Youth Games 2023: Weightlifter Jyoshna Sabar Rises From Poverty in Remote Odisha Village To Shatter National Record.

As far as Janvi is concerned, Malik believes that she is still a work in progress. "Janvi came to me some three years back, and since then has been with me. She’s on the right track as far as her progress is concerned, and will be a bright prospect in the days to come."

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 30, 2024 03:56 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).