Wednesday, December 1, 2021
SportBehind a sports champion…

Behind a sports champion…

Published: 25th Sep 2021 6:57 pm

Hyderabad: Modern sportspersons are always in a dilemma. A child is confused. So are the parents. But recent success by many young sportspersons like Sania Mirza or PV Sindhu is a perfect example of how sports and education go hand-in-hand.

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Even the recent example of two cricketers in IPL – spin bowler Varun Chakravarthy or dashing opening batter Venkatesh Iyer (both of Kolkata Knight Riders) – are shining examples where they excelled in studies and, at the same time, making a mark in sports too. The former, architecture by profession, has even been selected to play in the upcoming T20 World Cup.

As Imran Mirza, father of Sania Mirza, rightly said: “There’s no reason for a child to give up studies for the sake of sports. You have to keep one foot in academics, so even if you decide not to continue sports, you can always fall back to academics.”

But the key to success is the huge parental role. Sreekar Mothukuri has come out with a book called ‘Behind A Sports Champion’ that gives insight into a sports person’s journey to success. It is a fine attempt by Sreekar written for sports parents in the country. In this book, the author makes in-depth analysis by talking and meeting these successful sportspersons.

The book says sport is growing rapidly with various national sports leagues such as the Indian Premier League, Premier Badminton League, Pro Kabaddi, Indian Super League, etc. As a result, parents are increasingly interested in having their children explore sport as a career option compared to previous generation parents. However, there is no system or resource to guide parents in the right direction, leaving them confused, frustrated, and often wasting their time and money.

Though a few have charted successful careers, some have dropped out at the age of 18 or 19, confused whether to continue their sports or devote themselves to academics. “As a result,” according to the author, “70% of kids drop out of the sport by the age of 13 due to the negative experiences of playing sport. The primary reason for this kind of experience is the lack of awareness among parents about the sport and the journey of raising a champion.”

Overcoming the hurdles plays a big part in the early part of a career and parents often struggle financially to support their children. Top chess player Dronavalli Harika says: “I spent my crucial years in junior tournaments travelling abroad to play, wasting a lot of time and money as there was no one to advise us. My dad had to sell a plot (land) in Guntur to afford flight tickets and accommodations.”

For example, PV Ramana, himself a top volleyball player, believes parents have the first important role of giving confidence to their child. Today, if PV Sindhu has won a silver and bronze in Olympics or is a World Champion, it is because of parental support. “Parents are the first coaches of the child, and without their sacrifice, it is not possible to make a champion. If parents do not show commitment, the child will also not show interest,” says Ramana.

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