We recently caught up with FirstPoint USA client, Reshma Giji. Hailing from Kerala, Reshma tells us she has spent most of her life in the United Arab Emirates. Here, the soccer player shares with us, some more about her sporting background, her reasons for wishing to pursue a sports scholarship in the States, as well as her plans for the future.
Reshma tells us her passion for sports began with gymnastics; as a young gymnast, she was trained by Mrs. Iva from Czechoslovakia. Amidst further sporting opportunities, Reshma tells us that her football skills were brought to light in the large football ground of Taktse International School. Today, Reshma is now a member of the football, netball, touch rugby, basketball and badminton teams of GEMS Cambridge International School, Abu Dhabi (CIA).
Within her sporting career to date, Reshma has achieved a number of awards and accolades; Reshma received, amongst many others, the ‘Best Player Award’ in the U16 football team for the 2016-17 season; was ‘Player of the Match’ whilst playing against the British International School, Abu Dhabi, 2016-17; received the ‘Most Committed Award’ in the U15 badminton team for the 2015-16 season; and currently, Reshma is playing for the Rock Diamonds Club, Abu Dhabi.
With a number of sporting successes to her name so far, we asked Reshma to tell us about her favourite sporting memory to date...
“16th December 2017, I walked out into the stadium bearing the blue and yellow coat of arms of a squadron that had the potential to continuously awe the world's football fans with the arsenal of skills. The grounds of the UAE bore the soles of the Real Madrid on their grass pitches for the FIFA Club World Cup that day. It was the finals; yes, the players had to do their team and their fans proud, above all, I felt obliged and dutiful bearing their flag on the field. For me, this was a hair-raising experience, an experience of awe, throughout my journey in the sphere of sports. Through all this excitement, my favourite moment was when Cristiano Ronaldo gave me a cheerful smile as I was bearing his team flag.”
Reshma tells us that she was attracted to the idea of studying in the United States as she feels American universities had the ability to identify the hidden talent within each student. Additionally, the States have secured their stance amongst the top universities in the world; “from Harvard, to Stanford, to MIT, both young athletes and academic achievers have marched to gain their education there.”
Upon beginning her life as an American student-athlete, Reshma tells us she hopes it will empower her both physically and holistically – teaching her to embrace sportsmanship as well as teamwork. Reshma add, “I am looking forward to being a part of the experienced roster of student-athletes in my desired university, I am sure that I can represent my university both nationally and internationally. Personally, one of the most important aspects of being a student-athlete is developing a regular routine, balancing both sport and study.”
As we often do with our newest FirstPoint clients, we asked Reshma to tell us about her top three sports people of all time, she stated...
“Named ‘The Son of a Nation,' Pele, the greatest soccer player of all time embodied the very flair and essence of a soccer. After seeing his father cry, when he lost the 1950 FIFA World Cup, he took it upon himself to finish that journey. Using only a grapefruit and a sock stuffed with paper, to begin with, he slowly climbed the ladder to earn football glory and be a revolutionary striker to beat the records of the most goals scored. His passion and an unyielding determination made him one of the best footballers and role models to look up to.
Being the son of a sharecropper and the grandson of slaves, Jesse Owens was a frail child who often got sick from battles with chronic bronchial congestion and pneumonia. In fighting to survive both poverty and ailing health, he never lost his passion for running. This perseverance and determination led him to win four gold medals and to break two world records. Reflecting upon his life, I can see that although poverty could have been an obstacle to his growth, his determination and decision to support his family outgrew his weaknesses, making him a beacon to young athletes.
To stand out in the crowd shows true courage, to which Charlotte Edwards stands as a pioneer to all young cricketers. Moulded by her father and brother, her passion for cricket was kindled by them. Regardless of her gender, she climbed her way to the Ramsey Abbey boys’ team, where she was recognized as the youngest player. At the age of 12, she had played for the U19's. The inner charisma has been a great encouragement to all who play with passion.”
Finally, we asked Reshma where she sees herself being in 10 years’ time. She told us, “I aim to become a conservationist and a researcher in marine biology, with the experience that I gain through my sports and study at university. Through my research, I will strive to solve pressing crises around the world such as the Great Pacific garbage patch in order to conserve marine life and to also develop new medicines that mimic the mechanisms of marine creatures. Besides my professional career, I also hope to play for clubs in the region of my occupation, so that my flair and passion for football is never extinguished regardless of my profession.”
We’d like to thank Reshma for catching up with us. We’ll keep you updated on Reshma’s progress throughout the scholarship process across our various social media platforms; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.