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Pratima Sherpa: CBE Athlete on the World Stage

February 3, 2023
| By
Nicole Ju

Pratima Sherpa is a celebrated College of Business and Economics student-athlete, but first and foremost, she considers herself a Nepalese athlete, representing both her country and women of color on the world stage.

Pratima Sherpa

Pratima Sherpa, student-athlete golfer at Cal State LA, College of Business and Economics.

Sherpa's story has been told by well-known outlets such as ESPN and Golf Digest, and her life’s journey is viewed as a fairy tale by many, though the rising star has always felt immensely fortunate even before receiving such recognition. “I never felt different or out of place because of my home or my background,” she said. “My parents always made me feel like I had everything I needed. I had a home filled with love and support.”

Starting with a make-shift club provided by her father and free lessons from a charitable local coach, Sherpa now spends her days with what is effectively a second family according to her coach, Hans Kersting. “She fits in seamlessly,” he said. “Her attitude gives nothing away of how far she’s had to come to get here.”

Pratima with her coach

Pratima Sherpa and her coach, Hans Kersting, discuss techniques during practice.

Sherpa and her team practice frequently at Rio Hondo Golf Club, where she drives home not just golf balls, but the lessons she grew up with on her family’s farm: hard work, dedication, and self-reliance. Though her daily tasks may look different, waking up with the sun and completing schoolwork and practice to the best of her ability are still Sherpa’s primary goals.

Pratima with group pratice

Pratima Sherpa and her team at practice.
(From left:) Morgan Sjoerdsma, Joshlyn Ayala, Pratima Sherpa, Harley Richardson, Emily Wang, and Gabrielle Lawrence.

After putting together a highly successful women’s golf league fundraising event in Nepal, Sherpa’s outlook on the future reflects the large impact it left on her. “I want to better my family, my country, and lastly, women around the world. I definitely want to return home, but I want to find a way to keep golf a part of my life.”

Sherpa notes that the skills learned in her courses at CBE, especially a leadership class taught by her favorite professor, Brandon Shamim, directly translate to her golf career and make this vision possible.

“He gave me goosebumps with such great examples and stories,” Sherpa recalled.

Among skills like networking and public speaking, she points out that the biggest takeaway from leadership class was learning to “speak up for herself,” and to “socialize no matter how different you may think you are, remembering the importance of self-confidence.”

Sherpa continues to inspire many and is expected to graduate this spring with a degree in Business Administration Management.

Pratima and her group

(From left:) Gabrielle Lawrence, Emily Wang, Harley Richardson, Pratima Sherpa,
Morgan Sjoerdsma, Joshlyn Ayala, and Coach Hans Kersting.