For over a hundred Parvathaneni Brahmayya Siddhartha Arts and Science College alumni, who pursued sports along with education, it was a walk down memory lane as they took part in the felicitation of Polineni Ankamma Chowdary who recently retired as the physical director of the college.
Arjuna awardee and former Indian senior volleyball skipper P.V. Ramana, father of present Indian badminton sensation P.V. Sindhu, Olympian shuttler P.V.V. Lakshmi, wife of national chief badminton coach Pullela Gopichand, former Indian Premier League cricketer Kalyan Krishna, former Indian doubles shuttler Vidyadhar, junior Andhra cricketer G. Uday and others who were nurtured and encouraged by Mr. Chowdary, remembered their days spent on the ground and at the indoor stadium.
Mr. Ankamma, who joined the college at the age of 24 served for 34 years and produced many international and national players in several sports segments.
Long distance runner Sanjeeva Rao, working in South Central Railway Vijayawada Division, narrated how he was taken care of the management which waived off the fee while spiker Brahmaji, who works for customs at Mumbai, narrated how the fighting spirit and discipline learnt on court were helping him to lead a meaningful life.
Barring a few most of the students looked fit. They dedicated their healthy lifestyle to Mr. Ankamma, who infused the finer qualities of life during their nascent days. The players, representing various segments of sports and games, narrated their rivalry against city colleges’ such as Andhra Loyola College and SRR & CVR College and shared their on-court rendezvous with the gathering. “In the late seventies, SRR & CVR was strong in kabaddi and kho kho and Loyola was well known for its exploits in athletics. Mr. Ankamma, soon after taking over as physical director, meticulously improved the standard of the sports and games. He played a stellar role in making Siddhartha a force to reckon with in sports,” the old students said in unison.
Siddhartha Academy secretary P. Lakshmana Rao, Andhra Pradesh Badminton Association secretary K. Ch. Punnaiah Chowdary, Andhra Cricket Association joint secretary Ch. Arun Kumar, ACA director M.S.K. Prasad, and former District Sports Development Officer B. Sudhakar took part in the function.