Last summer time Ivana Shah stood on an house rooftop in Mumbai, India, hitting golf balls off a welcome mat right into a blanket stretched throughout the terrace by a rope.
Her father guessed the temperature was 95 levels with 75% p.c humidity. Her mom remembers the two-hour frenzy earlier than they discovered a bedcovering stiff sufficient to guard the neighbor’s home windows.
The sophomore (by way of eligibility) on the University of Akron girls’s golf crew wished to maintain her recreation sharp throughout the three months she spent at residence throughout the COVID-19 lockdown. During her time in India from March till June, the streets have been eerily silent in Mumbai, a metropolis of 25 million individuals. Residents have been allowed exterior solely throughout designated hours for journeys to the grocery and pharmacy; most had meals delivered.
Ivana, 20, and her sister Evanka, 15 — now a highschool senior who hopes to play faculty golf in the U.S. — pounded balls into the blanket and putted on marble flooring.
“I completely lost feel,” Ivana stated of her placing contact. “In three months, I hadn’t really hit a ball off of grass, or even a [golf] mat. A few times we may have missed and the ball did go flying into somebody else’s building.”
Mother Niki Shah so marveled at her daughter’s dedication that she captured it on video.
“She wanted to keep herself and her sister motivated to practice and take advantage of that time,” father Kaushal Shah stated from Mumbai throughout a WhatsApp name on May 8. “You could just end up sitting watching movies and playing video games and blow off a month and a half. She worked pretty hard on trying to keep her swing going. She was very creative in coming up with how to practice.”
Ivana Shah’s persistence led to a stunning and prestigious reward. Akron-born Shah was named the winner of the Dinah Shore Trophy award, chosen by the LPGA Foundation from nominations submitted by the National Golf Coaches Association. The announcement of the honor, additionally a joint effort with Friends of Golf and the ANA Inspiration, one in every of 5 majors on the LPGA Tour, was made Thursday morning.
Those thought of needed to have a GPA of at the least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, compete in at the least 50% of the crew’s scheduled occasions, keep a stroke common of 78 or underneath and display management and/or extraordinary neighborhood affairs work.
University of Akron golfer Ivana Shah packs COVID-19 aid kits at the Cleveland Clinic Akron General’s Bellows Building on May 8 in Akron. Shah has won the prestigious Dinah Shore Trophy Award. Phil Masturzo/Akron Beacon Journal.
A biomedical engineering main who plans to graduate in May 2022 and go on to medical faculty, Shah has a 3.902 GPA, posted a 75.92 stroke common in 2020-21 and completed a career-best fifth at the Mid-American Conference Championships.
Also drawing robust consideration from the Dinah Shore choice committee was the non-profit Call to Action created by Shah and her boyfriend, Noah Alfman, a fifth-year senior engineering main at UA from Zanesville who was a three-sport athlete at Tri-Valley High School in Dresden. With the pair utilizing their prowess on social media, Call to Action is growing a database of volunteers and serves as the intermediary between those that need to make a distinction in the neighborhood and non-government organizations (NGOs) looking for assist.
Although Call to Action (@calltoactionakron on Instagram, [email protected]) continues to be in its early phases, Shah and Alfman need to take the concept nationwide, believing the group is ideal for faculty campuses. They additionally hope so as to add adults to the volunteer roll.
The award capped a troublesome golf season for Shah. During a May 8 interview at Portage Country Club, Shah stated she suffered a again damage this semester that she suspects was from overuse in golf. Alfman steered spending 10 hours a day in a nasty chair as she additionally research for the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) on June 19 additionally performed a component.
“I went to Noah at one point during the semester, I was just bawling. ‘I don’t think I can do it, I’m in so much pain. I can’t move. I can’t sleep. I’m really scared I’m not going to be able to play,’” Shah stated.
Shah didn’t carry out effectively at the starting of the pandemic-shortened season. Her golf golf equipment have been stolen from her automobile and she didn’t have tools of her personal for the Zips’ first match. She was additionally concerned in a minor automobile accident.
Shah stated Call to Action was the one fixed that saved her going.
“‘We need six volunteers for this event on Friday.’ Forget about everything else and you just get that job done,” Shah stated. “At a certain point you think, ‘I’m giving so much, why are so many bad things happening to me still?’ It actually helps that you can concentrate on the people around you instead of yourself and you get through everything. I told coach, ‘No matter how bad things may seem, you can always give back. There’s no excuse.’”
UA girls’s golf coach Jenny King, who nominated Shah, stated she virtually cried when studying Shah had been chosen for the Dinah Shore Trophy, which additionally brings a $10,000 prize to the UA girls’s golf program.
“I’m thrilled for her and I’m just proud. She’s gone through a whole lot; everybody has — this year has not been the easiest year,” King stated in a phone interview May 8. “The first part of the semester, her clubs were stolen, she’s trying to put a set of clubs together so she can practice and get ready for the first tournament. She’s borrowing my clubs. It was a mess.
“Then her car gets into a wreck and then she gets a flat tire. She’s like, ‘I don’t know anymore, coach.’ I’m like, ‘There’s better days ahead. You’ve just got to be patient.’ In the end, it’s perseverance at its best. She never gave up and she always kept working and she was patient through it. She’s shown how resilient and tough she is. She didn’t complain hardly at all.”
King stated at one level she had three injured members of her crew, together with Shah, going for therapy on daily basis. But Shah’s run of dangerous luck turned when she tied for 14th at the Akron Invitational April 16-17 at Portage Country Club.
The following weekend at the Mid-American Conference Championships at Silver Lake Country Club, Shah led the third-place Zips with a 9-over 225 and was named to the all-tournament crew. It was her second look in the occasion; she additionally paced UA as a freshman in 2019, when she completed eleventh.
“The last two events at Portage and MAC, I had so much fun,” Shah stated. “MAC I was super happy. It was like, ‘I proved I’m a good player, I can do this.’”
Shah initially rebuffed the concept of attending UA, the place each her dad and mom studied. Kaushal obtained his undergraduate diploma in chemical engineering and bought his MBA in worldwide gross sales from UA, whereas Niki, an architect, bought an MBA in advertising and administration. They nonetheless personal their home in Silver Lake, however moved the household to India when Ivana was 6 and Evanka only a 12 months outdated.
“Looking to play college golf, I was never looking into Akron that much. I wanted to be somewhere new I could explore on my own. For me, Akron was very familiar. We used to come back in the summer, play summer tournaments, live in our house when we didn’t rent it out,” Shah stated. “We used to have a lot of family friends, most of their college friends are still here. I didn’t contact coach King until towards the end.”
But throughout Shah’s campus go to along with her father, King provided Shah a full scholarship. That prompted her to decide on UA over Division III applications Carnegie Mellon and NYU and the University of Illinois.
Being 25 to 30 hours away from Mumbai by air, Shah loves the close-knit crew ambiance fostered by King. The Shahs stated King and her husband invite Ivana to their residence for holidays as a result of she has no household in Northeast Ohio.
“I really love coach. She’s amazing. She makes our culture very much like a family. We’re very close, very open with each other,” Shah stated. “It was a smaller team, which is nice. In the end, I was like, ‘It feels familiar and college is actually so big and new, I actually want familiar.’”
Kaushal Shah nearly finds it arduous to grasp all that his daughter has juggled this semester, which was capped by the nationwide award.
“Getting this award is very, very big for her,” he stated. “It’s a combination of all these things — her passion and love for the game of golf, how hard she’s worked at that, the hard work with engineering, she’s a super student with fantastic grades and has aspirations in further studies. And then leadership and community service.
“It’s a great combination to have. We were very surprised and so happy that her coach submitted her name. I think doing all these things in college is really tough.”