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Looking ahead with hope

AVINASH NAIR
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Event The graduation ceremony for coaches trained by SAI underlined the need to put into practice the training received

The graduatesHave to shape and groom sportspersons of the future
The graduatesHave to shape and groom sportspersons of the future

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) took shape way back in 1961 with three major objectives: spotting and developing talented sports persons, providing infrastructure and facilities for National camps and most importantly training future coaches. And the Bangalore centre – or the Netaji Subash Chandra Bose Southern Centre as it is better known – since its inception in 1972 has been doing just that,” said S.S. Roy, the Regional Director, SAI, at the welcoming address at the 36th Graduation Day ceremony of the Diploma students.

One hundred and fourteen trainee coaches attended the course in nine disciplines: athletics, badminton, kabaddi, kho-kho, swimming, softball, tennis, taekwondo and volleyball. The multiple medallist and international athlete Aboo Backer of Services Sports Control Board (SSCB), walked away with the Overall Best student of the year award

The course offered training and specialization in specific sports and sports medicine with nearly 330 hours of classroom study and 800 hours of practicals. This year three add-ons were also introduced which helped the students immensely. Many of the future coaches – several of them achievers in their own way in their chosen sport – walked away with special awards for excelling in their respective events. Backer said: “This was a wonderful course and now it is left to us to implement and put into practice what we have learnt here.”

Sareesh Paulexpressed his happiness over the experience he gained in the course and was specially impressed with the add-on courses. “Now it is left to us… how well we utilise what we learnt…getting a foothold could be hard grind but once we are in I’m sure we have the wherewithal to come good in all respects,” he says.

The Director General of SAI, Jiji Thomson, who honoured the students with Prof R S Deshpande, Director, Institute of Social and Economic Change, Bangalore, cautioned and motivated the trainees in shaping and grooming future sportspersons. “One has to be passionate… I moved away from the boxing ring early in my career. But then I saw that there was a lesson to be learnt from the boxing ring too. I became a good student of the game and have become passionate about the sport," said the SAI chief.

Prof Deshpande also talked the need to learn and practice constantly. He lauded the students for their desire to become coaches and train the upcoming talents to perform at the highest level in the years to come. The trainees took an oath to respect and discharge their duties with utmost commitment and discipline.

AVINASH NAIR

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