Beyond The Court: Meet Shireen Limaye, Women's Basketball Team Captain

In an interview with SheThePeople, Indian Women's Basketball team captain Shireen Limaye delved into a conversation often overlooked in the realm of leadership - mental health and the importance of self-care.

Tanya Savkoor
Updated On
New Update
shireen limaye, Image: @prathikshasportsphotography, @shireen_limaye Instagram

Image: @prathikshasportsphotography, @shireen_limaye Instagram

Shireen Vijay Limaye’s confident stride and determined gaze embody an unmistakable aura of leadership. Her presence on the basketball court commands attention, her every move a testament to her unparalleled skill and passion. As the captain of the Indian Women's Basketball Team, the 29-year-old stands as a prodigy, an inspiration to aspiring athletes across the globe. In an interview with SheThePeople, Limaye delved into a conversation often overlooked in the realm of sports leadership-- mental health and the importance of self-care. The Pune-based athlete candidly talked about her life beyond the court, showcasing a holistic approach to success.


Limaye’s Foray Into Sports

Born into a household where the courtside chatter was commonplace, Shireen Limaye's introduction to sports was not merely a happenstance but a legacy waiting to unfurl. Her mother Suvarna's basketball coaching expertise served as a guiding compass in her journey towards athletic prowess.

Limaye has dabbled in several sports including netball, billiards, and roller skating, apart from also being a trained classical dancer. By the age of five, she had already claimed the title of Maharashtra State champion in roller skating. However, she ultimately followed in her mother's footsteps and found her calling in basketball.

"When I used to go for skating practice, it was at the same time that my mom had her basketball coaching. I used to see my friends' parents coming to watch them skate but I never had that privilege. So I decided I didn't want to go skate anymore, I wanted to go spend more time with my mom. That's how I started basketball," Limaye told SheThePeople.

She continued, "My mom's students told me to try my hand at basketball so one day I started hooping just for fun and realized how amazing the sport is. That's how I fell in love with it. As a kid, I never thought I would play for India or make it my career. I just wanted to be around my mom, but ever since, I haven't looked back."

Keeping The Mind Healthy As An Athlete


Glam and accolades aside, Limaye's role of shouldering the national team comes with its share of pressures and challenges. Amid these hurdles, she has realised the paramount importance of prioritising her mental health. She acknowledges that while self-care is not easy, it is an essential part of her wellbeing as a leader.

Limaye expressed, "It's tough. It's definitely tough. I have a sports psychologist that I talk to every now and then. Whenever it is taking a toll on my mind, I just rant to my therapist or my family. But honestly, being a captain in basketball isn't very demanding and even my team makes it easy. I just have to encourage and motivate them."

Being In the Public Eye, Dealing With Negativity

On the topic of mental health, Limaye also opened up about facing unwarranted attention as a public figure. From comments about her appearance to speculations about her sexuality, she has navigated through various forms of online bullying and scrutiny. However, Limaye remains resolute in her abilities and self-worth.


"People on social media have commented on my gender or my short hair. When i was younger, I used to get really affected by these comments and cry to my brother about it. But now I have gotten used to it and I have become mature to handle the negativity," Limaye expressed, adding that she realises that enduring criticism is a normal part of being in the publc eye or being proficient in a skill.

Sports In the Digital Age

Though tempered by its bitter side, Limaye maintains an optimistic perspective on the role of social media in the realm of athletics today. Aside from showcasing her basketball skills, her Instagram feed is peppered with reels of her busting a move to trendy tracks or snippets of her life with her family, friends, or pets. 

Limaye explained that in cricket-crazy countries like India, social media has made it easier for lesser-exposed sports to gain visibility and support. She said, "Because of social media, many different kinds of sportspersons are showing the world what they are doing and this is improving the standard of their game."

women in sports women Basketball players Shireen Limaye