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Model of Hope

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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.

A source of inspiration for millions, Ranveer Singh Saini is a special needs golfer and the first Indian to win a gold medal at the Special Olympics World Games in 2015. Among other subsequent awards and recognitions, Ranveer won the silver medal at the Special Olympics World Games 2019 at Abu Dhabi. He is also a good cook and has an excellent ear for music.

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