Lovable giant

15dmc bigshow   | Photo Credit: 15dmc bigshow

The presence of a seven-foot high figure in the midst of a group of 20 school-going children did not frighten the latter. On the contrary, Paul Randall Wight Jr. a.k.a. Big Show, a professional American wrestler with the World Wresting Entertainment (WWE), was watched by the kids with awe and admiration.

The event was a book distribution initiative by Big Show autographed by the star, among the students of Pratham Learning Centre (run by non-governmental organisation Pratham) hailing from economically weaker sections. The function was organised by Special Olympics Bharat (SOB) in association with WWE at the Shangri-La’s Eros hotel. The children too were not willing to be left behind in expressing their gratitude and each gave either a card or a thank you note to Big Show.

During his interaction with the Press, 42-year-old Big Show said his father inspired him to make a place for himself in the world and that success did not come to him easy. He narrated that after the demise of his father and his grandfather – to whom he was close – he drifted, doing odd jobs ranging from selling goods, being a bouncer in a country bar to answering phone calls at a karaoke club. The wrestler was candid in admitting that he still got “butterflies in his stomach” before an event even though “the 25-minute of bout are the best moments of his day”.

Big Show said he was not overly concerned about being famous and that he was happy he was wedded to a profession which he enjoyed. He pronounced beamingly, “I get to do something which I enjoy immensely which is called a job by others.” He was happy that his profession had enabled him to visit several countries and see their unique monuments and wonders — read in books and seen through pictures by others. He said his stint with WWE had gained him honour, helped him to develop a sense of humour, enhanced his personality and left him matured and become deeply sensitive to the underprivileged.

Syed Ali Kazim, National Director of SOB, explained that his organisation works with mentally challenged children to develop their skills in sports and athletics. Recognised by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, it has 10 lakh children registered with it and 70,000 coaches to work with them.

The coaches play the role of special educators and with their educational background and knowledge of games, shape the skills of the youngsters. Interestingly, the categorisation of the children is not according to age but as per the disability of each child. The youngsters with higher ability train with other children. In fact, SOB has teams comprising children from both the categories to nurture mutual acceptance and build confidence on the part of the two groups.

M. M. Khurram, a former football player who represented Delhi State seven times who joined SOB in 2005 as a coach, emphasised on the point that the foremost task of the trainers was to gain love, respect and confidence of the trainees and develop a healthy rapport with them.

Each coach tutors four children only enabling them to provide proper attention and care due to them.

It is noteworthy that at the Special Olympics 2013 Asia Pacific Games held in Newcastle, Australia, India hauled a staggering total of 387 medals.

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 2:58:23 AM |

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