In a country where it’s hard to even being acknowledged as a sportsperson, 26-year-old Alisha Abdullah has not only made her mark, but also broken the stereotype that only men can be racers.
Taking sound advice of her father, Alisha was winning all types of go-kart races by the age of 13 and even became the MRF National Go-Karting Championship at that age.
She subsequently advanced to super bike racing when she was 15 and by 2004 was in the top five of the JK Tyre National Racing Championship.
Starting out on 100cc bikes by the age 16, Alisha was giving men of the same class a run for their money.
HK RAJASHEKAR This photo was taken immediately before Alisha’s fall in a bike race.
She vowed never to race bikes again due to what happened. This is what she told TOI after the crash:
“In a completely male-dominated sport, I think I bruised quite a few men’s egos. They couldn’t stand a girl push past guys and many a time they deliberately hit my bike. Being a no-nonsense girl, I always fought back. But, the crash was the threshold. I didn’t want to race bikes any more, though I loved it.”
Though distraught about leaving her love for bike racing behind, she has since then come a long way in racing four-wheelers.
She was part of the Volkswagen India team. Abdullah has not only been improving with each year, but is now also in the process of building India’s all women racing team, and has even opened an academy called ‘All Women Bike Racing Academy’.
Teaser of my all women bike racing academy… All set to build India’s 1st a women racing team pic.twitter.com/YZi7aW7ocm — Alisha abdullah (@alishaabdullah) 22 March 2016
Teaser of my all women bike racing academy… All set to build India’s 1st a women racing team pic.twitter.com/YZi7aW7ocm
— Alisha abdullah (@alishaabdullah) 22 March 2016