By Nyomi Fox
Unlike many of our athlete profiles, Diya Bali is not approaching college athletics — at least not yet. Diya is 14-years-old and a freshman at Langley High School. And unlike most athletes, Diya has not been playing sports her whole life — she started playing golf at the beginning of June. So why the sudden start? One answer: her father. According to Diya, whenever her father has free time, he is “watching golf tournaments, playing a round of golf with his friends, or taking my siblings and me to the driving range.” When summer came around, he finally convinced her to commit to learning the sport, so that she could be on the Langley team. As foreshadowed earlier, she did just that. Diya now plays not only to appease her father’s wishes but to live in the thrill of the sport. Just the minor act of making contact with a golf ball provides Diya with a visceral sensation of pride and joy. She also plays to share her delight with others, specifically in the form of sharing her mastery of the sport. After only playing for a few months, Diya has found herself in the position of a teacher, guiding her peers toward proper form and athletic success. But even with Diya’s own success, she is not considered a Varsity athlete. This is not because she is a low-level player, it is because Langley does not have a Varsity golf team for women. Diya herself remarked, “the boys’ golf team is a varsity sport, while the girls’ golf team is not considered a varsity sport.” This only sparks motivation in the young athlete, as Diya and her teammates, are working to change the perception of women’s golf — for the better. When asked what her inspiration is, Diya immediately responded with “my team.” She proudly remarked that “whenever I play, I make sure to think of them, and that has such a positive impact on myself and my game.” Diya may not know where she will end up in college, but she knows that she wants to incorporate golf into many more decades of her life. “The amazing thing about golf is that you can play it for your whole life, unlike many other sports. So, I hope that I am able to enjoy golf for a long time.” As she continues her budding career, Diya wants to thank her parents, team captains, and coaches for their unconditional support.