Meet Aneesha—ace shooter from J&K with ‘bull’s eye’

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In her teens, when the girls dream of flying in the sky as pilot, contributing in nation building as teacher, doctor or an engineer, Aneesha Sharma from Jammu and Kashmir chose to become a professional shooter.

Born to Ram Raj Sharma (banker) and Anjali Sharma (teacher), Aneesha from border village Bishnah of tehsil Jammu is an ace shooter with ‘bull’s eye’.

The recent achievements of winning two individual gold medals in senior and junior categories and one bronze medal in youth category in 10-meter Air Rifle at the 21st All India Kumar Surendra Singh Memorial Shooting Championship held at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala from June 4 to 16, 2023 climbed her to fifth rank in All India Junior Shooting category.

Sharing five years long journey of success, Aneesha, who pursued shooting as a career in the year 2018 speaking to UNI said, “I started practising shooting from class seventh in my school days as it was introduced as an activity but I liked it and decided to become a professional.”

Aneesha, who has several awards and rewards in her kitty at this learning age, expressed gratitude to her parents for being supportive and giving wings to her dreams.

The ace shooter, thanking her coach, Vishal Mehra as well, expressed that his (coach) guidance and expertise made her to scale the height in shooting, which is not less than a game of mind and focus.

“During my initial days of coaching in 2018, I had qualified for All India G.V Mavlankar Shooting Championship held at Maharashtra and thereafter my first national competition was at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala in the same year,” she said.

“Participation in the 2018 national championship was like a booster dose to me and then there was no looking back,” she stated further expressing that in 2021, she became a part of the Indian squad.

In 2021 Khelo India Youth Games, Aneesha was ranked sixth and presently is a part of the National Centre of Excellence (NCOE) in Khelo India Scheme under the aegis of Sports Authority of India (SAI).

Sweating hard for nearly five to six hours a day, the shooter is not only an inspiration but also a motivation to the female athletes of Jammu and Kashmir, who want to be like her but unable to chase dreams because of poor infrastructure and ignorance in this discipline.

Coach Vishal Mehra speaking to UNI stated that devotion and commitment for shooting made her qualify at different platforms.

“From day one, Aneesha is a bright learner whether it is studies or shooting, she stays focussed and this excellence makes her special in all formats of the sport,” the proud coach said.

Attributing her success to the parents as well for always being supportive and motivational, the coach appealed to the Jammu and Kashmir administration to come up with better government-run infrastructure to boost the sport for outstanding results.

Aneesha presently is training at Mission Olympics Shooting Academy Jammu, under coaches Vishal Mehra and Aman Singh and eyeing to make India proud at the International forum.

Counting few of her achievements, Aneesha in May 2023 bagged two individual gold medals in India Open Competition at Delhi, gold medal in June 2023 in the 66th National School Games at Chandro Tomar Shooting Range, Noida, gold medal during Indian team selection trials conducted by the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) in June-July, in India Open Shooting Competition at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh from August 10 to 16, she bagged two individual gold medals in senior and junior category and two gold medals and a silver in senior-junior category in team events.

The shooter has also been awarded the Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police, Dilbag Singh, who is also the Patron of the Jammu and Kashmir Rifle Association (JKRA) with commendation certificate class -1st and a cash reward for selection in India shooting squad in the year 2021.

She was also awarded by the President of JKRA with a cash reward for creating a hat-trick in 21st KSS Championship by beating Olympian and world champions and securing two individual gold medals and a bronze.

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