‘Joshna Chinappa is Sania Mirza of squash’

 

She’s got youth on her side, attitude and the talent to back it up. Meet Joshna Chinappa, 19-year-old squash champion

ROSHNI OLIVERA Times News Network

Joshna Chinappa, who made history by becoming the first Indian girl to win the British Junior Open under-19 title, was in Mumbai recently, when BT caught up with her...

ON BEING REFERRED TO AS THE ‘SANIA MIRZA OF SQUASH’...
If people think I am the Sania Mirza of squash, then Sania is the Joshna Chinappa of tennis!! I just think there is no comparison between us because her achievements are very different from mine.

HER TAKE ON SANIA MIRZA'S SHORT SKIRT BECOMING AN ISSUE...
I don’t think people should really care what the length of her skirt is, as long as she is performing. She is an Indian first and here to play her game, perform and go home and not worry about anything else.

JOSHNA’S SQUASH JOURNEY...
I started playing at the Madras Cricket Club at eight. My dad used to play and still does. So, basically, I started because of him and trained with him for many years.

WORK HARD, PARTY HARDER...
I train really hard during the week and like to enjoy myself on the weekends. Discs now shut very early in Chennai, so I hardly go there. I just chill at a friend’s place or go for a movie or dinner.

TAKING HER GAME FORWARD..
I plan to play more senior tournaments, perform well in them and get my ranking up.

HER TRIP TO MUMBAI..
I came to Mumbai with my friends. They wanted to come here for New Year’s. I came along because I get some good training at the CCI Club with some good squash players there.

NOW IN THE US:
I’m in the US for WISPA (Women’s International Squash Players Association) tournaments to get my ranking up.

QUICK TAKE:
Favourite dress: Something sporty and stylish and feminine
Favourite sportsperson: Andre Agassi
Favourite pastime: Hanging with friends and shopping
Dream date: Christiano Ronaldo
My funda: Everything happens for the best

 
     
     
 

JOSHNA CHINAPPA
Get Sporty

Sunday Express : 14th November 2005

"Am I to wear that ?" the national squash champ exclaimed when we held out he jacket. We'd been warned her style was hard core sporty; girlie dressing is strictly for formal functions. But we urged her to try something different and she agreed.

Chinappa's usually in stylish jeans and a casual Tee, but for us she choose a purple, lace-trimmed singlet from Tommy Hilfiger and a pair of denim capries from Mango to match the jacket. Nice, but the jacket still needed some dressing up. 

So we tried a fitted denim skirt that flared out near knee and a pale green singlet, both from Mango. To add some glam to the sporty attire she got into a pair of metallic gold and buff  Tommy sneakers.

Even though she looks smashing, Chinappa wasn't sure about the jacket . "It's cute and has quite a British touch, but I don't know if I 'd wear it,"  she said. "I like clothes that fit my body well, and I'd probably pick something with longer sleeves.

 
     
     
 

Go Jo
Indian Express, Nov 4, 2005

Parizaad Khan

IT’S not hard to figure out that India’s only women’s squash champ is just 19. every clue is in its place – the Guess jeans, Esprit tee and sneakers, an arm covered with beaded bracelets, a tattoo, a pierced navel and a Usher ringtone on her cellphone. But when Joshna Chinappa tells you she just bought a slinky black Honda City with her own money, it makes you sit up and take notice. 

Chennai – based Chinappa’s in the city for the Western India Squash Tournament, taking place over the nest few days at the Cricket Club of India. “It’s off season right now, so I’m going to trains really hard till January – there are no major tournaments to break the training cycle. But this is good prize money,” she says. 

Post January 2006, the 5’8” champ will bombard the Commonwealth Games, the Asian Senior  Championship and the South Asian Federation (SAF) Games with her aggressive  style and flashy strokes. 

Chinappa’s squash journey started like that of many other sportspeople – watching her dad play at the gymkhana. She recalls playing tennis and badminton equally well, but “had to stop being a Jack of all trades, so I picked squash”. When she was 10 she made it to the finals of the under – 14 Junior Nationals, but lost. 

The next year Chinappa won her first – ever international tournament – the under – 13 Singapore Junior Open. “I always remember playing a age group higher than mine. It’s more fruitful if you win that way,” she says. 

And since her career had been decided when she was 10, studies were never a priority. She tells us that she’d writer just enough to pass her exams, even though she knew the answers to all the questions. “But I neglected academics. I know squash is not a sport that can make you millionaire in three years,” she says. But she tells us that sponsorship problems may also disappear – she’s been signed up by a big company, but it’s too soon to mention names. 

When she’s not training, her time’s spent between the movies, hanging out with friends and shopping. “I love good clothes –Mumbai has all the great brands and designers,” she says. The party scene  also had her hooked for a few years. “ I work my butt off through the week, so Saturday was when I’d go dancing” she says. But since  “Chennai’s no fun anymore – everything shuts by 11pm,” she unwinds by catching dinner with friends or racing cars with them down empty roads.  “We once had a drag race during peak traffic,” she giggles. 

For Chinappa, it’s never been better that at 19. 

BIG MOMENT
When I won the Under – 17 British Open in 2003, after six years of losing in different categories. And being named the brand ambassador for the girl child in India, by the Health Ministry.

ON SANIA MIRZA
Everyone wants to see  more female players. She’s young and attractive and has also been marketed well.

 
     
DNA Mumbai (Newspaper), August 19, 2005.

Joshna’s got her chin-up

 

Smashing Trial

British Open Junior, 2005 – winner
Asian Junior, 2005 – winner
World Junior, Belgium, 2005 – runner-up
British Open Junior, 2004 – runner-up
SAF Games, Pakistan, 2004 – gold
Hongkong event, 2004 – runner-up
Asian Championship, 2004 – bronze
Malaysian Junior, 2004 – winner
Junior National, 2004 – winner
Senior National, 2004 – winner

Eighteen with a dream seems to symbolize Indian sports’ Generation Next. Joshna Chinappa is to squash what Sania Mirza is to tennis. And like her counterpart,Joshna is also set for her first full year on the senior circuit, says Nihal Koshie

The past three weeks have seen the world No.1 junior squash player dealing with a gamut of emotions. Joshna Chinappa’s loss in the final of the World Junior event was hurtful but the new found stardom has also been heartening.

And as Joshna enters her first full-fledged year in the highly competitive senior circuit, she will realize more and more that the subtle changes she will have to bring about in her lifestyle will be more that those in her game.

While the 18- year old may not be as popular as her tennis counterpart Samia Mirza, in terms of promoting the game, Joshna has probably matched Sania. So mush so that the Union Health Ministry has taken note of Joshna’s achievements and appointed her their goodwill ambassador. Joshna was only too willing to oblige. “I will have to find time outside the game for these commitments but that should not be n issue,” Joshna said. 

And although she’s open to endorsing products, she admits that her sport doesn’t have too many takers here.

“Squash is not as popular as other racquet sports like tennis. If I was playing tennis, it would have been easier to get endorsements,” Joshna said.

However, despite the relative low-profile character for her chosen sport, the Chennai-based girl has had to deal with increased pressure on her privacy, especially after her runner-up performance at the World Junior event in Belgium. The dusky, charming player with the infectious smile, however, is up to it. “More and more people recognize me, come up to me and say hello and congratulate me. I am more of a known face. I have been interacting  with the press and have also appeared on television, maybe that is why people know me now,” said.

Joshna, who has fondness for good clothes and loves dressing  up for the occasion, is basking in the new found recognition. “I would be lying if I said that I did not enjoy all the attention. I like meeting people,” Joshna said.

However, she insists that all the adulation has not changed her at all. “I’ve not changed. I remain the same person.”

The pressure of an individual sport is immense, but Joshna has her  own way of dealing with it. By her own admission, she had devoured chocolates after losing the World Junior final. “It is something I love and something I fall back on when I am down,” she said. For someone whose game is established enough to win the junior Asian and British Open titles, eating chocolates seems a rather childish fetish.

Especially for someone who seems to have a mature head on her shoulders. Her targets are set. “I want to break into the top-20 within a year,” Joshna said. Her first event startsin Islamabad on August 30. the Doha Asian Games will be the next big arena. “Gold at the Asian Games is what I am gunning for,” she said. After that? The world will be her oyster.

Article in Femina : http://www.feminaindia.com/articleshow/msid-772425,prtpage-1.cms 
     

Shri. Sunil Dutt (Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports) and Smt. Sheila Dixit (Hon. Chief Minister of Delhi) felicitating 
Joshna Chinappa at Habitat Center, New Delhi.

 
 

Smt. Sheila Dixit (Hon. Chief Minister of Delhi) felicitating Joshna Chinnapa with Mahendra Agarwal (Director, ISP), Ashish Gupta (Hon. Member, ISP) and Anjan Chinappa (Joshna Chinnapa’s father)

  Shri. Sunil Dutt (Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports) felicitating Joshna Chinappa with Anjan Chinappa (Joshna Chinnapa’s father)
 
  • Sunil Dutt (Union Sports Minister) gives a cheque of Rs. 307000 to Joshna Chinappa for training abroad
  • Another Rs 3 lakhs given for her achievement in 2003
  • ISP felicitates Joshna Chinappa in a glittering function in Delhi
  • Smt Sheila Dixit (Chief Minister of Delhi) attends the function along with Nafisa Ali, Louis Khursheed, Rita Dixit and Charu Sharma amongst others.

Joshna Chinappa is by far the highest achiever in the history of Indian Squash. She announced her arrival in World Squash as an Under-13 player by becoming the first Indian ever to win a title at the Scottish Junior Open. She has reached the 3rd position- the highest ever by a girl in the Australian Junior Open. To top it all, she has won two Titles at the British Junior Open- the highest rated Tournament in the World, winning the Under-17 Title in 2003, and the Under-19 Title this year, while being the Runner Up in Under-19 in 2004. She is the only Indian ever with this level of achievements in the British Junior Open. She is the Asian Junior Champion winning the Individual Title in July 2004, and has won laurels for India in the Asian team events, including the Asian Seniors Bronze medal. She is the only Indian to have won the SAF Games Title- winning the Individual and Team Gold medals in April 2004. She is the reigning Women’s and Junior National Champion having held both titles for the last four years. She became the youngest ever Women’s National Champion at the age of 14, a record that surpasses that of any Indian in any sport.

While she received bans and disciplinary actions instead of awards from the Squash Rackets Federation of India,  Indian Squash Professionals- an organization dedicated to promotion of Squash founded by Mahendra Agarwal is honouring Joshna. All along her Squash career, ISP has helped Joshna by in various ways, including getting a sponsorship of over Rupees Five Lakhs from Switcher, a Swiss garments company. The monetary award due to Joshna from the Ministry of Sports, Government of India has been delivered to Joshna through the efforts of ISP. 

Mr. Sunil Dutt the sports minister has taken special interest in the career of Joshna who is aiming to become India's first-ever junior champion boy or girl at World Juniors in Belgium this August.  

Yesterday, 16th April 2005, Mr. Sunil Dutt invited Joshna Chinappa and Mahendra Agarwal (Director of Indian Squash Professionals) to the Ministry of Sports at Shastri Bhavan, New Delhi where he handed over 2 cheques to Joshna Chinappa.  The first cheque of Rs. 307000/= was a reimbursement of the expenses for her training at Harvard University with world renowned coach Mr Satinder Pal Bajwa, the second cheque of Rs. 3 lakhs was given to her for her achievements in the year 2003 (Asian Sr. Women Championship (Team), Kualalampur 2002 , Silver : Rs.1 lakh, Asian Jr. Squash Championship, Pakistan 2003, Gold Rs. 0.50 lakh, Asian Sr. Women's Championship, Kualalampur 2004, Bronze Rs. 1.50 lakhs.)

Following this, a glittering function was organised in the evening at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi under the aegis of ISP to felicitate Joshna Chinappa and her wish her luck for the forth coming World Junior Squash Championship to be held at Belguim in July 2005.  Smt Sheila Dixit (Hon. Chief Minister of Delhi) was the chief guest of the evening.  She wished Joshna good luck and expressed confidence that she will bring many more laurels for the country.  The function also saw the presence of some of most well known faces in the social circuit of Delhi, particularly Nafisa Ali, Louis Salman Khursheed, Rita Dixit and Secretary Sports Mrs Meenaxi Anand Chaudhari, symbolising the force of emerging women power in various fields including sports. 

   

PRIDE OF INDIA

 MAKING OF THE WORLD CHAMPION

Joshna Chinappa has squash flowing in her blood for four generations. Her great grandfather field Marshall K.M.Cariappa, India's first Commander-in-Chief of Army played squash, so too her grandfather who was a Lt. Col. in the army, and ofcourse her father Anjan Chinappa who plays regularly at the Madras Cricket Club courts and has represented Tamilnadu many times. His greatest match was against Kumari Bhuneshwari in 1986 at M.C.C. Courts. Candy was the National Champion and Aashish Kamat of Mumbai wagered that Candy would beat Anjan. It was a great match with Bhuvneshwari finally getting the better of Anjan. In fact years later when Joshna was  only 6 years and had started playing squash the very same Kumari Bhuvneshwari watching Joshna hit the ball told Anjan "I see a Champion in the making, do encourage her all the way" The rest as they say - is history. 

Joshna created history by being the first Indian girl to win the British Squash Championship title 2003, at Sheffield, U.K. and also winning the  The Asian Junior Women Squash Championship at Islamabad, Pakistan on 6th Feb 2003. Making history has been a way of life with Joshna. She earlier in the year 2000 created history in the Indian sports, by winning the senior national squash title, at the age of 14 years. In this significant achievement, she eclipsed the other greats of Indian sport namely Vijay Amritraj – Vishwananthan Anand – Ramesh Krishnan and Prakash  Pudukone, by holding the Senior & Junior national titles at the age 14 years while the above mentioned greats simultaneously held the Senior & Junior titles above the age of 15 years.

Joshna has also won squash championship titles in Malaysia , Singapore , Hong Kong , Scotland, Europe-U.K, and today is currently ranked world No 1 in the under 17, age category.

In her endeavors to pursue her aims and ambitions , she has to participate in numerous international squash tournaments.

Exposure  & participation at the most competitive level of squash will ensure that Joshna can climb higher & higher in the world rankings.

To achieve this for  Joshna, The Indian Squash Professionals and Mr. Mahendra Agarwal has decided to help her by way of appealing to all NRI’S (non resident indians) worldwide to contribute towards sponsorship for Joshna Chinnapa to participate  in international tournaments. 

Joshna Chinnapa  will bring honour and glory to India by becoming a world champion and your contributions will go along way towards this being a reality.  Kindly send any amount from 10$ to 10000$ in the name of INDIAN SQUASH PROFESSIONALS.  

Joshna Chinappa

 

JOSHNA CHINNAPA  -  BORN ON 15TH SEPTEMBER 1986.
Address -  I – 64, Anna Nagar, Chennai – 600102.
Tel   -  91 44 26261669
Fax No - 91 44 26269212
Age group:
U-15/U-17/U-19 & Women’s group.  
National Ranking: U-15-1 / U-17-1 / U-19-1  
Residence: Chennai

A prodigal talent if one can say the least, this precocious teenager from Chennai has always finished a notch short of the expectations she has generated. That is, until the recent senior nationals when the entire squash fraternity stood up and took notice of her talent after she beat the defending champion Mekhala Subedar in the final.

Still a couple of months short of being 15, Joshna gave first notice of her talent when she was barely ten years old. Blessed with a good physique, Joshna possesses an array of strokes that can compare with the best in the business and when they start landing, then one can only feel sorry for her opponents.

At the age of 12, Joshna was already winning under-14 tournaments abroad and, if she can focus mentally, she will continue to do so. At present, making a career out of squash seems a viable proposition for this talented lass, but that depends upon a lot of factors.

A doting father, who is determined to see his daughter scale the pinnacle of squash, is Joshna’s plus point, but that is if she can remain focussed on the game in the years to come. 

However, one thing is clear, unanimously, that a talent like Joshna has not been seen in Indian women’s squash for some time now.  

List of Joshna’s Achievements in Squash

ACHIEVEMENTS IN 2004 – 2005

Sr. No.

Tournaments

Year

Category

Positions

1.

British Open Championship

2004

U – 19

Runner – Up

2.

SAF Games, Pakistan

2004

Individual and Team Event

Gold Medallist

3.

International Women’s tournament, Hongkong

2004

Women

Runner-Up

4.

Asian Senior Championship

2004

 

Bronze Medallist

5.

Malaysian Junior Championship

2004

Under-19

Winner

6.

Junior Nationals

2004

Under-19

Winner

7.

Senior Nationals

2004

Women

Winner

8.

British Open

2005

Under-19

Winner

9.

Asian Junior Championship

2005

Under-19

Gold Medallist (Individual)

ACHIEVEMENTS IN 2003 & 2002

11TH Asian Senior Squash Championship, May, 2002 – Malaysia – Joshna led The Indian Women’s Squash Team to a Silver Medal for the first time ever.

Sr. No.

Tournaments

Year

Category

Positions

1.

British Jr. Championship

2003

U-17

Winner

2.

Dutch Jr. Open- Amsterdam

2002

U-17

Winner

3.

Asian Games

2002

 

Quarter Finalist

4.

Jr. National Championship

2002

U-19

Winner

5.

Complan Jr. Championship

2002

U-17

Winner

6.

Western India Open

2002

U-19
Women’s

Winner
Runner up

7.

Senior National Championship

2002

Women’s

Runner up

8.

Scottish Jr. Championship

2002

U-17

Semi final

Joshna’s Achievements in 2001

Sr. No.

Tournaments

Category

Position

1.

Asian Jr. Championship

U-19

Bronze

2.

Malaysia Jr. Open Squash

U-17

Winner

3.

Singapore Jr.

U-17
U-19

Winner
Winner

4.

World Jr. Womens Championship

Team

8th Place

5.

Western India Open

U-19
Women

Winner
Runner up

6.

Maharashtra State Open

U-19
Women

Winner
Runner up

7.

Indian Jr. Nationals

U-19

Winner

8.

Senior Nationals

Women

Winner

9.

Scottish Jr. Open

U-17

5TH place

10.

British Jr. Open

U-17 

5TH Place

Achievements in the Year 2000

Sr. No.

Tournament

Year

Category

Position

1.

Switcher – Leela Invitational

2000

Women’s

Runner up

2.

Malaysian Pepsi All Star

2000

U-15

Winner

3.

Singapore Wilson Jr. Squash

2000

U-17

Runner up

4.

Australian Jr. Open (Perth)

2000

G-15

Third place

5.

Little Master Jr. Open Squash

2000

U-15
U-19

Winner
Semifinalist

6.

Indian Jr. Open Championship

2000

U-15
U-17

Winner
Runner up

7.

Indian Jr. Nationals

2000

U-19

Runner up

8.

HSBC Maharashtra State Open

2000

U-19
Women’s

Winner
Runner up

9.

Western India Open

2000

U-15
U-19

Winner
Winner

10.

Indian Senior National Squash

2000

Women’s

Winner

           

Joshna creates a record in the 48 years history of Indian Squash by becoming the youngest National Championship (Women’s) at 14 years of age.

 1999 

Sr. No.

Tournament

Year

Category

Position

1.

British Jr. Open Squash Championship

1999

U-13

Semifinal

2.

National Senior Championship

1999

Women’s

Semifinal

3.

Joshna was part of the junior girl team selected to represent India at the 9th Asian Junior Squash Championship held in Malaysia from 24th January to 2nd February 1999. First time ever, Indian junior girls won the bronze medal.

4.

Malaysia Jr. Open Championship

1999

U-15

Winner

5.

Singapore Jr. Open Championship

1999

U-15

Runner up

6.

Hongkong Jr. Open Championship

1999

U-15

Quarter final

7.

All India Otters Club Tournament

1999

U-15
U-19

Winner
Runner up

8.

National Jr. Championship

1999

U-17

Runner up

9.

Sri Lanka Jr. Championship

1999

U-15
U-17

Winner
Winner

10.

Western India Open

1999

U-19

Runner up

11.

British Jr. Open Championship (Dec)

1999

U-15

Quarterfinal

12.

Scottish Jr. Squash Championship

1999

U-15

Winner

Joshna was given award “ Best School Girl  In Sports In Tamil Nadu  For 1998-1999” by the Tamil Nadu  Sports Journalists Association.

She was given “The Most Promising Junior “ award at Western India Open event.

Joshna was given a “Youth Merit Award, by Rotary Club of Madras Temple City in October 1999.

NATIONAL / INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENTS-1997/1998

1. National Jr. Squash Championship

1997

U-14 Runner-up

2. National Jr. Squash Championship

1998   

U-14 Winner

3. Singapore Jr. Open Championship  

1998

U-14 Winner

4. Hongkong Jr. Open Championship

1998

U-13 Winner

5. Kingfisher Asian Jr. Grand Finals

1998   

U-14 / 16 Semi Finalist

6. Scotish Jr. Open Championship

1998   

U-13 Winner

Joshna was given the “C.P.Johnstone Award For The Best Sportsperson Of The Year 1998”,

 By Madras Cricket Club.

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