Veteran players come together to promote the game among youngsters
BERHAMPUR: Veteran basketball players of the city have got together to organise a three-week-long coaching camp to promote the game among the youngsters.
This camp is continuing in the Berhampur Stadium since May 17. A group of around 15 veteran basketball players of the city have come together to hold this summer camp from their own resources. This group includes former national player like J.Kameswar Rao and only international referee of Basketball from Orissa, Rajkumar Patra. Veteran basketball player Arun Kumar Patnaik, who works in the merchant navy, has took up this camp as an entertaining endeavour during his summer holidays. These veterans are also taking up the mantle as coach for the youngsters. Basketball coach of the sports hostel in the city, Kajal Kumar Sahu is also extending his expertise to this summer camp.
Around 80 youngsters between the ages of six to 18 years are participating in this camp. The organisers said despite several requests from parents they could not intake more participants due to constraint of resources. “We are hoping to hold a bigger camp next time if we get some sponsorship,” Mr. Patra said.
The participants of this camp have been divided into three groups. The 15 participants of the age group below eight years have made the organisers hope that a bright future awaits basketball in this region. The other two groups are meant for participants between eight to 13 years and rest participants are in another group. The youngest ones have been named ‘Kids' group. For them the basketball is still too heavy to throw. They are mostly being taught the art of dribbling. Although none of them are yet to be powerful enough to ‘basket' yet they are not leaving any chances. “The enthusiasm of these kids is also proving to be a major catalyst for the practice of other participants”, Mr. Patra said. Apart from practical training in field the participants are also being imparted theoretical training about the fundamentals and history of the game.