Indian snooker player Varshaa Sanjeev has accomplished numerous accolades both domestically and abroad. She is also the World Record holder of 72 break in 6-red Snooker Format which she accomplished in 2020 and is now setting her sights on the Surge Sport All India Snooker Invitational Championship 2022 (1st edition) at the NSCI Club in Mumbai from the 3rd to 7th September.
In this exclusive interview, Varshaa Sanjeev shares details about her journey as a snooker player, the influence of her coach Mr. Yasin Merchant, breaking the world record, special achievements so far, overcoming challenges and her future goals.
Q 1) When were you first introduced to snooker? What motivated you to pursue it professionally?
I was introduced to the sport at the age of 12 as I happened to see it on TV. Before this I tried a lot of sports but snooker really caught my interest so that's when I joined a summer camp where I liked the process and feel of the sport.
Q 2) How much of an impact has your coach Mr. Yasin Merchant been in your career so far?
He has made a massive impact in my life as I have been training with him for the past 8 months. He has upped my game to an advanced level as he constantly motivated me to do better and told me to never look back at the failures, instead to learn from them.
Q 3) Tell us about your experience in making the world record in 2020 of 72 break in 6-red snooker format?
I never thought that I would be breaking the record in the first place. It was an early match against my close friend as I started off the match with a bang and I was on course to break the record. In my head I was very calm and collected as I went to break the record quite comfortably. Overall it was a good process and I was really happy with the record.
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Q 4) You have a number of accomplishments both domestically and internationally. Which one stands out as the most special for you and why?
The most special one would be my under-21 World Championship where I won the gold in the U.K. I actually started off in the senior events but didn't do very well in that category. That did not put me down and once I started the junior category, I got that momentum going with every game that I played. I managed to stay calm and collected, eventually winning the world title. The 2nd most special would be the senior national title that I won in 2019. I beat all the top players right from the beginning. In the quarter finals I faced the former national champion Amee Kamani and another former national champion Vidya Pillai in the semi finals. It was a very tough tournament to win and it was a really important win for me.
Q 5) What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced as a snooker player? How did you overcome them?
One of the biggest challenges is to try and get sponsors. To play any kind of billiards and snooker tournaments you need quite a lot of investment. To play the World Championship we get funded by the government but we have to take care of ourselves for other events. That's been quite a challenge to put in our own money and travel the globe. That is still a pretty big challenge that I haven't found a solution to. I have been trying to meet a lot of I.T and management companies to get sponsorship from their side but I haven't been able to do that. It is quite a slow process and eventually I'm hoping that it could happen.
Q 6) What are your future goals and how are you working towards accomplishing them?
My current goal is to win the World Championship that's going to happen in November. Another goal is to turn professional very soon as I don't want to play at the amateur level. Turning pro would actually be a dream come true. There are many events coming up and I want to turn professional as soon as possible.