Once A Babysitter, Assam’s Jinu Gogoi Wins A Bronze At Khelo India

Jinu Gogoi

Jinu Gogoi won a bronze in the Under-21 Girls’ pair event at lawn bowl green at the Khelo India Youth Games on Wednesday. Only three months into bowling, she achieved the feat. Jinu started playing the game after watching her employer Bima Borah playing at a local lawn bowling alley. Jinu accompanied Borah to the alley every evening to babysit the 10-month old child of her employer. “I used to watch her play every day, and once, just on a whim, I asked her if she would teach me the sport,” Gogoi revealed.

Key Takeaways:

  • Young talent from Assam, Jinu Gogoi won bronze in the Under-21 Girls’ pair event at the lawn bowl green at the Khelo India Youth Games.
  • Jinu started bowling just three months back.
  • There she played the sport every evening. Her job was to babysit the 10-month old child of her employer.

Within three months (in September), Jinu found a partner in Karina Patowary, and the pair won bronze in the Under-21 Girls” pair event at the Khelo India. Gogoi hails from Charaideo in Upper Assam. Jinu’s mother Mamoni Gogoi works in a tea garden in Sivasagar, where Borah’s husband manages the business.

“After I had my daughter, I employed her as a care-giver,” Borah explained to TOI. “She helps me around with household chores as well as she takes care of the baby when I can’t,” she added.

Jinu’s father is suffering from cancer and due to the expensive treatment, she had no option but to drop out of school after completing Class X. “When I got her here, I was hoping I could get her out of a tough situation and also educate her, and elevate her,” Borah said.

“It may be just a bronze, but it has come after just three months of training. I can see her continuing and getting much better very soon,” Borah claimed.

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On Wednesday, Assam doubled its gold medal haul to six at the Khelo India Youth Games in Guwahati. West Bengal also won three medals. Talking about the state’s performance at the tour, coach Lovely Choubey said, “They have had very little practice over the past two months. And you have to concede that home advantage is a huge thing in the sport. The Assam contingent are familiar with these greens. So it’s good they have done well.”

Krishna Xalxo, another national champion and India international, part of the coaching contingent, explained, “The availability of the greens is one simple reason of course. Also, the fact of the matter is that the sport requires an athlete to have a calm demeanour, and presence of mind. Which youngsters from our state the tribal youngsters especially, possess in huge amounts.”

Hoping lawn bowls players get recognised for a national sports award soon, Xalxo also admits, “That really will kickstart a national revolution.”

Feature image credit: City Air News

Read More Stories By Ria Das