I sold gold and borrowed money: Treesa Jolly’s father recalls struggles after daughter’s heroics at CWG 2022


Ace Indian shuttler Treesa Jolly was part of the mixed team that won the silver medal at the recently-concluded Commonwealth Games 2022. 19-year-old Treesa has had a spectacular rise in the badminton circuit and has risen through the ranks to represent India at the highest level. One of the most talented youngsters in the country at present, Treesa has not had an easy journey to the top.

Treesa’s father Jolly Mathew recently recalled his struggles and revealed how he had to make a lot of sacrifices to make her daughter realise the dream of taking up badminton as a career. Mathew revealed Treesa was just 7 when she started playing badminton and used to train even in rain due to the lack of facilities in her village.

“There was no badminton court or facilities in the village when Treesa started participating in the district under-11 category. She was just seven. In the next few years, she won medals in the State and national championships. But for winning major tournaments, she required facilities to practice, especially when it rained,” Mathew was quoted as saying by The Hindu.

Treesa hails from Pulingome, a village in Kannur, in Kerala, India. The 19-year-old had started her badminton journey as a seven-year-old in the backyard of her house. Her father constructed an indoor court at their house and also acted as Treesa’s first coach teaching her the tricks and trades of the game. 

Also Read: From PV Sindhu, Lakshya Sen to mixed team’s silver: How Indian shuttlers roared and inspired at CWG 2022

He also left his job as a physical education teacher at a university to travel with her to tournaments and support her in chasing her dreams. Mathew revealed the family faced a severe financial crisis and he had to borrow money by selling off gold to support her daughter as badminton is an expensive sport.

“I decided to construct an indoor court in the courtyard of our house. I sold gold and borrowed money from friends for this. It is an expensive game. The cost of equipment and travel took a toll on us both physically and financially. She had no sponsors then,” Mathew recalled.

“I invested everything in her game, but her progress would not have been possible without the support of Anil Ramachandran, head of the Physical Education and Sports Science Department of the university, who took her under his fold while she was 13. He gave her free coaching and facilities,” he added.

Also Read: PV Sindhu bags CWG gold: A look at all major achievements of the ace Indian shuttler

Treesa made her father proud with her heroics at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham this year. She returned home with two medals as the Indian mixed team won the silver medal while the women’s doubles team bagged the bronze medal. Treesa and Gayatri Gopichand were India’s women’s doubles pair at the Games.

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