21-year-old sprinter Ramiz Raza hails from a small village in Jharkhand. He supports his training expenses by working as a taxi driver at night. Read his incredibly inspiring story. 

I am from Deoghar, a small village in Jharkhand. Since my childhood, I have been passionate about sports. When I was in the 11th standard, I participated in a running competition in my village, and stood first.

That day I realized I had a gift, and became serious about running.

Started training at an academy in Jharkhand

Once I knew I had the talent to become a runner, my aim was to improve. Due to lack of guidance and training facilities in my village, I travelled to an academy 12 km from my home.

Though it was a bit of a struggle to get there every day, I had no choice. The fee of this academy was Rs.500 a week, which included training, and a post workout meal.

Training made me a better runner

After training for only two months, my running improved. I won 3 gold medals at the district level races, in 100m, 200m, and long jump.

Later, I participated at the State level competitions, and won bronze medals twice in the 100m sprint race. I was doing well, but wanted to improve my performance as a sprinter.

Foreverfit- Ramiz Raza

Made a move to Delhi 

Since I struggled to travel to the sports academy every day in Jharkhand, and couldn’t get the guidance needed to get to the next level, I decided to make a new move. So, I shifted to Delhi, for better training and better opportunities.

My parents didn’t support my decision. Like most Indian middle class families, they wanted me to focus on my studies, rather than waste time on sports. But, I moved to Delhi anyway, since I was determined to build my skills as a runner.

Being in this city will lead to more exposure and opportunities, and better training. And I am confident that sooner or later, my parents will be proud of me and my decision.

I have a packed routine

Since my parents don’t support me financially, I have to bear my own living and training expenses. So, when I moved to Delhi in December 2016, I decided to become a taxi driver. For 12 hours every night- from 8 p.m to 8 A.M, I drive my cab.

I’m also pursuing B.A. Hons. English, from the open school of learning because my family wants me to continue my studies. Recently, I won a Silver medal in Delhi, at YMCA Athletics Meet.

Foreverfit- Ramiz Raza.

Train during the day

I sleep from 10 am-2 pm, following which I train at Thayagaraj Stadium from 4 pm to 7 pm. I train hard, and need to maintain a healthy, wholesome diet. Because I’m short of time, I focus on eating foods like oats, bananas, and eggs because these are easily available, healthy, and cost-effective.

Never give up your passion

No matter how hard the struggle gets, I will never give up running. Despite my difficulties- in terms of diet, finances, and time management- the thought of giving up my passion never strikes me. I believe that determination will ultimately bring success.

Once you are successful and look back at past struggles, they seem very small. Now, I’m looking for a sponsor, so that I can focus more on my training and do better. You can get in touch with me on email: ramizrza78@gmail.com