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Is it difficult to imagine that a boy battling intellectual disorder would make a mark in golf? Well, there is an interesting story to tell.
My name is Ranveer Singh Saini. I am a 20-year-old special needs golfer, a Gold and Silver Medalist in the Special Olympics, World Games.
But this is not how I started!
I was diagnosed with Autism at the age of two. My childhood was full of odds and hurdles – numerous interventions, therapies, special education, occupational therapy, speech stimulation, sensory diet, calming medicines. These were part of my daily routine. A report chart that indicated slow progress! My world was limited to my parents, my caretakers, a few close friends and my siblings.
One day my parents took me to the golf course, and that was it. It was as if golf was drawing me towards it. I started accompanying my parents to the golf course every single day and started taking it as a challenge. As a game of concentration, accuracy, body and mind control, golf seemed to be the last game which my therapists and special educators suggested. However, overcoming all stumbling blocks, I started training under the National Coach Mr. Anitya Chand and began practicing and pursuing golf with a professional perspective.
Finally one day, that turned out to be life-changing! The Asia Pacific Golf Masters, Macau, 2013 – the mega event that opened new pathways in my life. Being the only special needs golfer from India, I was representing the hope of millions at the Asia Pacific Golf Masters, Macau, 2013. And today I humbly admit that I didn’t let my nation down. And then, there was no looking back.
Winner of five gold medals at the Asia Pacific Golf Masters, Macau – my victory featured as a record in the Limca Book of Records for four consecutive years (2013-2016). I was bestowed with one of the ten People of the Year 2016 award by Limca Book of Records and was awarded ‘Sportsperson of the year 2015’ by Sports Illustrated India.