SPORTS TRIBUNE Saturday, October 20, 2001, Chandigarh, India
 

Uma’s largesse boon for federations
Ramu Sharma
T
he Sports Minister, Ms Uma Bharati, appears to have been more than generous in her attitude towards federations and officials. She has made everyone happy with the promise of more money for conduct of national championships and an enhanced daily allowance for those taking part in international meets. The IOA president, Mr Suresh Kalmadi, has been deputed to study and submit a report on doping and limiting the terms of officials in the federations.

TEEING-OFF
Best golf course in the country
K. R. Wadhwaney
I
t is a paradise within paradise. This is the Royal Springs Golf Course in Srinagar. Eighty of the 100 professionals, who participated in the recently-concluded Sher-I-Kashmir Open, are unanimous that Royal Springs is the best course in the country. Many pros were emphatic in saying that it is much better then two courses in Gurgaon, Classic Resort and DLF.

Arif demands total dedication
J. R. Jyoti
S.M. Arif, who received the Dronacharya Award on September 29, symbolises the finest qualities of a sage and a guru. As a guru, Arif moulds attitudes of his trainees — their attitude to sports, studies and to life. He lays stress on fair play on and off the court. He demands total dedication and intense application from his wards. He lays stress on total personality development, in which sports plays a vital role.

Seeking glory on the football field
Vincent Zulu
S
treet kids in Lusaka — runaways and orphans who once called benches, shop corridors and sewer pipes their home in the Zambian capital — are turning to football as an escape from the mean streets. And they are scoring successes. A group of street children has started to play for the Fountain of Hope, a club that is making its mark in the semi-professional second division Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) league.


 


 
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Uma’s largesse boon for federations
Ramu Sharma

The Sports Minister, Ms Uma Bharati, appears to have been more than generous in her attitude towards federations and officials. She has made everyone happy with the promise of more money for conduct of national championships and an enhanced daily allowance for those taking part in international meets. The IOA president, Mr Suresh Kalmadi, has been deputed to study and submit a report on doping and limiting the terms of officials in the federations.

The largesse announced by the Sports Minister should be welcomed by the cash strapped federations some of whom find it increasingly difficult to find state units willing to host national meets. Distributing money is a great gesture but who is to ensure that it has been used well.

Conduct of national championships over the years has left a lot to be desired. Some effort is made on the technical side but the necessary attention is not always paid to the basic needs of the participants. It is not always the fault of the host unit. There just isn’t enough accommodation available for the large number of competitors in most of the centres. Cleanliness also is not an Indian priority, so it seems. Ms Uma Bharati should insist on a report on the facilities made available to the competitors and the officials from the centres organising the nationals.

The whole exercise in doling out more money is to ensure that the competitions do not suffer from lack of finances. Perhaps it is an oversight but attention could have also been paid to the organisational at aspect at the inter-university competitions.

If the ministry has placed the School Games Federation of India in the second category in the revised guidelines, then there is every reason to include the universities in the same category. After all young talent moves from school to college and what better than to ensure continued monitoring.

The grading of disciplines is a welcome move. One can never do enough for the handicapped. At the same time clubbing a subcontinental pasttime like kabaddi with archery, rowing, cycling and swimming does not make sense. In fact kabaddi should be treated separately with kho kho and other indigenous sport where there is no yardstick for excellence.

The ministry is reportedly planning to overhaul the entire awards procedure and it would have helped if some thought had been given at the time of grading non-Olympic sport with indigenous exercise. There is no way one can compare the performance of an athlete who has an international graph to study in progress with achievements in kabaddi or kho-kho where there is no accepted international yardstick.

The government needs to rethink on grading as a whole. It should, place only those disciplines with known record of a some degree of success on the international scene in the top spot. This would help considerably while redrawing the entire structure in relation to the selecting persons for sports awards.

It would be a welcome gesture if some effort is made to promote and encourage disciplines like volleyball and basketball, two games which have a very strong spectator standing and are not all that costly too.

The ministry alone cannot be held responsible for raising the standards. It can give money and facilities and can help monitor the progress. Beyond that the responsibility is entirely on the federations with the IOA acting as the judge and jury. The IOA has unfortunately not been able to fulfil its responsibility in this regard.
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TEEING-OFF
Best golf course in the country
K. R. Wadhwaney

It is a paradise within paradise. This is the Royal Springs Golf Course in Srinagar.

Eighty of the 100 professionals, who participated in the recently-concluded Sher-I-Kashmir Open, are unanimous that Royal Springs is the best course in the country. Many pros were emphatic in saying that it is much better then two courses in Gurgaon, Classic Resort and DLF.

The 7025-yard course (front nine 3440 yards and back nine 3585) golfers, pros and amateurs, young and veterans.

When Srinagar returns to normalcy, the course is fit enough to stage the Indian Open. The aesthetic and natural beauty will captivate foreign pros to wield their clubs. They will love to play amidst lovely surroundings and overcome challenges that lie ahead on the sloping greens.

A brainchild of the Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, himself a keen golfer and lover of sports, the ambitious plan was conceived way back in 1984. A decade of unrest because of militancy and unstable political conditions posed many insurmountable problems. But Dr Abdullah said nothing doing. He had to organise a ceasarism operations to have a rewarding delivery.

Aware that only the best of architects and designers can fulfil the demands of a course near to perfect, Robert Trent Jones (Jr) was engaged. Inspired by the surroundings, he went on to produce a world class facility. The course will provide a grand boost to tourism. Foreigner golfers, particularly Japanese, Americans and Europeans will endeavour to reap the riches of the course, which is magnificent in every aspect.

Motivated by the picturesque settings and serene atmosphere, Delhi’s 22-year-old Jaiveer-Virk announced his arrival. A product of a public school, he gave evidence of talent and skill as he finished joint third among a galaxy of pros.

Jaiveer has ability and skill. But he requires exposure at home and abroad to gain confidence. There can be no gain without pain-physical, mental and financial. The Professional Golfers Association of India (PGAI) should help provide sponsors to such promising youngsters.

Jaiveer and Jyoti Randhawa were clubbed at 283, while Gaurav Ghei was a stroke less at 282 for his runner-up berth. The title, however, went to never-say-die Mukesh Kumar (Mhow), who produced a superb and consistent play one all four days, to aggregate 276 (70, 68, 69, 68). He amply demonstrated that not for nothing he has won two successive Mahindra Golfer of the Year awards.

A few pros backed out of the competition as there was a bomb blast two days prior to start of the tournament. But those who made it enjoyed every bit of golf while playing in the shadow of terror. And those who could not were the losers.

Satisfied with the success despite many pitfalls, the orgnisers are thinking of staging another competition in May. It will have Rs 20 lakh prize money. The Sher-E-Kashmir had Rs 15 lakh prize money.

After a gap of one year, India will be taking part in the prestigious Nomurs Cup at Wu Yi Fountain Palm Club in Guangdong Province (China) from October 25 to 28. Before reaching China, the four member team will play in Hong Kong.

The team is short of match-play. This may prevent them from attaining their best form. The Indian Golf Union (IGU) has to wake up to provide facilities and exposure to amateur players to reach their top from for important tournaments.

The team comprises Ashok Kumar, Rahil Gangjee, Shiv Kapur and Rahul Ganapathy.
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Arif demands total dedication
J. R. Jyoti

S.M. Arif, who received the Dronacharya Award on September 29, symbolises the finest qualities of a sage and a guru.

As a guru, Arif moulds attitudes of his trainees — their attitude to sports, studies and to life. He lays stress on fair play on and off the court. He demands total dedication and intense application from his wards. He lays stress on total personality development, in which sports plays a vital role.

Arif is easily a sage among the coaches. His acumen has been assimilated during his coaching spread over three decades. His is coaching has a quality that goes deep into areas like physical fitness and psychology besides the theory and the practical aspects of coaching. He is meticulous to cover the ‘way’ and the ‘how’ of all areas that touch a trainee. This includes his/her eating and sleeping habits; recreation and even socialising.

His coaching is on a one-to-one basis. "while sensitive players get put off by mere pointing out a fault, there are those who need extra efforts to bring home a point. Some need a mere hint while others learn through repeated effort", points out Arif.

"So the sensitive one needs to be toughened up and the tough ones further built upon", he adds. Also, each player progresses at his speed, with his capacity. Arif works as a catalyst. He takes care not to be overbearing. That may discourage the trainee.

Himself a cool person, nothing ruffles Arif. He is soft-spoken. His biggest virtue is his modesty. Touch of Hyderabadi ‘tehzib’ is visible in his talk. But he demands Arjuna’s accuracy from his wards. "Hit the inner edge of the line. And leave the shuttle if it is half an inch out", he tells them and inspires them to achieve that precision.

Arif works with his wards demonstrating finer nuances which badminton has in plenty. That needs patience, which he has in abundant measure. His motto: When hard work does not pay, harder work does.

No wonder, his trainees have done him proud by winning several international, national and umpteen state level titles. P. Gopi Chand winning the All-England title has given him the biggest satisfaction. And his joy knew no bounds when Gopi Chand received his award, the coveted Rajiv Khel Ratan, along with him.

A medal at the 2004 Olympics at Athens is the target Arif has set his eyes on. He is confident that his wards will make his dream come true. Success story of every outstanding man has always a woman partner. In Arif’s case his wife Fatima is a pillar of strength.
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Seeking glory on the football field
Vincent Zulu

Street kids in Lusaka — runaways and orphans who once called benches, shop corridors and sewer pipes their home in the Zambian capital — are turning to football as an escape from the mean streets. And they are scoring successes. A group of street children has started to play for the Fountain of Hope, a club that is making its mark in the semi-professional second division Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) league. The club’s two teams — the second-division team and an under-17 squad — are made up of 30 teenagers between 14 and 19 years old.

Fountain of Hope’s main team is ranked third in the 16-team FAZ second division table — dizzying heights for a group of teenagers who less than four years ago seemed doomed to a life in the gutters. After wins against an older and more established opposition, the teenagers are beginning to see themselves as the future of Zambia football — with all the fame and opportunities it entails.

Fountain of Hope has come a long way from its humble beginnings three years ago, when it entered Zambia’s organised football through the under-17 league. The semi-professional team only attained second division status last year after reaching to top of the Lusaka District Amateur Football League.

Club Secretary Brian Mulenga, who has been there from the start, says the team evolved from a clutch of ragged street urchins who toyed with homemade plastic balls on bare dusty patches of land. "Initially, the idea was to just get these kids off the streets by keeping them busy with some homemade plastic balls," he said. "But as we went on, it dawned on us that there was so much talent and rather then just letting it go to waste, decided to form a regular team and enter an organised league. "Since then there has been no looking back and the results are now showing."

Apart from the usual physical and tactical training other teams have, Fountain of Hope provides counselling for its players that stresses the importance of keeping off the streets.

Gerald Mulwanda, a soccer analyst and former sports editor of the Times of Zambia newspaper describes the Fountain of Hope as the revelation of the season. "Those boys have a point to prove," he said. "There is so much passion in them and they are really a delight to watch, one can only wait and see how far them will go."

But success has brought other problems — elevation to the second division has brought the daunting challenge of finding enough money to run a semi-professional team.— Gemini News
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SPORT MAIL
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India’s defeat shameful

The shameful defeat of India in the triangular series at the hands of Kenya was the result of mishandling of the team by the Indian skipper. In the first league match against Kenya , India not only crushed the rivals in less than 50 overs but also scored the required 91 runs without loss. In the second league match against Kenya , Ganguly rested the most successful trio of Agarkar, Srinath and Sehwag and replaced them with new faces. The second mistake by Ganguly was to enthuse the Kenyan batsmen by himself taking up bowling in the initial stages.

B.L. BANSAL Chandigarh

India’s fielding

Although the score of 233 made by India in the triangular one-day series against South Africa was not good enough, yet India won by 41 runs after restricting the rivals to 192. The bowlers played a vital role in the win. Harbhajan Singh was the pick of the lot. The team deserves appreciation but there is no room for complacency. Our fielding was not up to the mark and needs improvement. A number of incorrect decisions were also observed.

H/CAPT JAGDISH CHAND (Retd) Panchkula

Third umpire

After losing the first one-day international against South Africa, India avenged the defeat by beating them by 41 runs. It was a match dominated by bowlers. Harbhajan Singh, man of the match, took 3 for 27 while Kumble also gave a fine display of traditional spin attack . Since the game has become very popular, the role of the third umpire should not be limited to deciding run-outs, sixes and fours. The umpires should also consult the third umpire in case of catches.

Y.L. CHOPRA Bathinda
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