A Nepali teenager living with her parents in a small maintenance shed at the Royal Nepal Golf Club has embarked on an unlikely journey that she hopes will end with her becoming the first woman in her country to play golf professionally. Pratima Sherpa, 18, and her parents, who work for the golf club, live in a two-room shed — one room filled with the course’s golf equipment, the other with two beds, a stove, and a shared bathroom. To stay clean, she says, they bathe using buckets outside. Despite her humble living situation, Sherpa says that she’s happy to have grown up where she did.
“I can practice anytime, if I didn’t live there I don’t think I’d be able to be a golfer … that’s why I feel so lucky to live in a shed,” she explained. “Golf is very expensive in Nepal, and it wouldn’t be offered to my family.”
As a child, Sherpa said she used wooden sticks to imitate the professionals she saw playing on the course, and that after the president of the golf association saw her practicing he told her to go to a junior camp. It wasn’t long until they discovered that Sherpa not only loved the sport, but was a gifted player. She was soon competing in junior tournaments in Nepal, where she is typically the only woman in a field full of men. With the help of donations, she says she’s also been able to travel to the U.S. on occasion to compete there as well. She even got to hit the links with Tiger Woods.
But her ultimate goal, she says, is to support her parents so that they can retire from working on the golf course.
“They are getting older day by day, but they are still working,” she said. “I have to take care of my mom and dad so I have to study and I have to play.”
Watch a video interview with Sherpa below.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) July 12, 2018
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