SPORTS TRIBUNE
 


Great expectations
Vaibhav Sharma
Abhinav Bindra feels that for India to emerge as a shooting powerhouse, the entire set-up needs a lot of professionalism.High hopes will be pinned on Indian shooters during the Commonwealth Games, says Abhinav Bindra
Being the only man in the nationís history to have won an individual gold medal at the Olympics carries a lot of weight. But Abhinav Bindra has learnt to deal with it. He knows now that every time he will compete, expectations will be sky high. That it will be a case of him, and the rest of them.

Abhinav Bindra feels that for India to emerge as a shooting powerhouse, the entire set-up needs a lot of professionalism. Photo: Manoj Mahajan

Ground reality
The Kila Raipur playfield is comparable to the high-class cricket stadium at Mohali and is maintained by just one grounds man.Sukhvir Singh Grewal
To improve sports in Punjab, we need better playfields and infrastructure
Punjab is preparing a blueprint for the development of its sports. For this, the sports programmes of countries like Australia, China, France and Germany are being studied.

The Kila Raipur playfield is comparable to the high-class cricket stadium at Mohali and is maintained by just one grounds man. Photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Fit Zone
Side light
Bharat ThakurBharat Thakur
How many times have you stood in front of a mirror and observed your body? And felt helpless? Either you stay away from the mirror or send yourself hate waves. All you need to do is focus some time and attention on yourself. It is so fascinating that we can actually sculpt our bodies the way we want to. No matter what shape we are, we can be what we want through yoga. Although fat accumulates in many parts of the body, it affects the shape of our body most when it comes on to the sides.

More and more young athletes are training in New Delhi for mat wrestling to gain entry into world competitions like the Commonwealth and Olympic Games.

MAT FINISH

 




More and more young athletes are training in New Delhi for mat wrestling to gain entry into world competitions like the Commonwealth and Olympic Games. Photo: Reuters


   

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Great expectations
Vaibhav Sharma

High hopes will be pinned on Indian shooters during the Commonwealth Games, says Abhinav Bindra

Being the only man in the nationís history to have won an individual gold medal at the Olympics carries a lot of weight. But Abhinav Bindra has learnt to deal with it. He knows now that every time he will compete, expectations will be sky high. That it will be a case of him, and the rest of them.

With the country arriving in the year of the Commonwealth and Asian Games, he speaks to The Tribune on a range of issues.

A lot of time has passed since Beijing, does it still send your blood racing?

It definitely does. It was a moment that people wait for all through their lives. I didnít have words to describe it then, and I donít have the words even now.

It is, without doubt, and will remain the best day of my life.

You spoke about the need for change in the set-up soon after the Olympics. But you have been pretty reclusive of late. Why so?

I have not been reclusive, rather I have been busy training. The issues I raised then are the ones I still stand by. I still believe those changes need to be made.

What has to really change for India to be known as a shooting powerhouse?

Frankly, a lot has to change for us to be consistently competent. The entire set-up needs professionalism to be injected into it. The coaches, the federations, the players`85each one of us. There is a role that is expected of every player, and if he knows his role, and does it well, it adds to the complete picture.

You say you have been busy training. But you were not even seen around the time of the national championships recently. Is your on-going tiff with the NRAI the reason for this?

I donít wish to speak about the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI). They do what they do, and in whatever way they know. I was training in Germany at the time of the national championships. And I had no intention whatsoever of being a part of the national championships as I want to compete at a better level.

The Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games are up this year. Do you see India putting up a good show?

There is very little doubt that the shooters from India will carry a lot of expectations into both the events. They will be among the ones expected to add to the medal tally and that, too, heavily. But will it happen? Well, I know every time a sportsperson goes out to represent India, he/she will give it their all. So, all we can do is prepare to the best of our limits, and hope for great results.

What other sports do you follow?

I am an Indian, and pretty much like the others, I follow cricket. I really admire Sachin Tendulkar a lot, and was extremely happy that he has been breaking so many records of late. His humility all through the years has been wonderful to watch and I really wish him and the Indian team all the very best.

Any plans on the marital front? Hope you are not expecting to surprise the media on that one?

(Laughs) Well, not really. If there will be something, which there isnít right now, I will surely make it public in good time. As of now, I have just been too busy with my training schedule to think about anything on those lines.

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Ground reality
Sukhvir Singh Grewal

To improve sports in Punjab, we need better playfields and infrastructure

Punjab is preparing a blueprint for the development of its sports. For this, the sports programmes of countries like Australia, China, France and Germany are being studied. Punjab should have a sports policy and a long-term plan for the development of infrastructure, a centre of excellence (with a sports psychology lab, biomechanics lab, training method expert, sports medicine, physiotherapist and rehabilitation centre), top-of-the-line gymnasium, playing equipment and professional coaches so that the state can be a force to reckon with.

But where do we begin and what should be our priority?

To start with, we need playfields, playing equipment and coaches to train the players.We have plenty of playfields in schools, colleges, stadiums and villages. But the condition of these grounds is horrible! These playfields should be improved and that requires initiative, not lots of funds. The principals, physical education teachers, district sports officers and the grounds men attached to them should be made responsible.

I recently visited Gurusar College, Sudhar, DAV College, Jalandhar, and the Kila Raipur Stadium. The playfields at these centres can be compared to the cricket stadium at Mohali and they are maintained by just one grounds man as the Physical Education Department, coaches and the management take keen interest in it. I also visited the Government College for Men, Ludhiana, which has two football fields, two hockey fields, an athletic track, basketball courts and volleyball courts, but their condition is so bad that leave aside playing, one cannot even cross them. The condition of the playfield in the Government College for Girls is similar.

What are the employees responsible for maintaining these playfields doing? I have just mentioned these two institutions but the condition of a majority of playfields in Punjab is pitiable.

All the major cities of Punjab have well-developed sports infrastructure. For example, Ludhiana has a synthetic track, three indoor halls, a synthetic turf for hockey, cycling velodrome and a swimming pool, but this infrastructure is underutilised. If only we could have a sports hostel, playing equipment and coaches, this infrastructure worth millions can be put to optimum use.

We, in Punjab, have more than 10,000 physical education teachers working in various schools and colleges, but we donít have 10,000 players, so where is the problem!

Physical Education was made a subject for teaching, but we forgot its practical aspect. This subject should only be for sportspersons and the others should have a practical session. If we can ask each school to make at least one team in a game popular in the area, the sports base can be widened to maintain the playfield, for which you only need water and a level ground. (This can be done by ploughing and levelling the grounds with the help of a laser leveller, plantation of grass and installation of a tubewell with a sprinkler system, the cost of which is Rs 1 lakh to Rs 3 lakh, depending on the water level).

The 142 blocks are getting a grant of Rs 5 lakh under the PYKKA scheme; it takes a lot of money to develop a playfield! Punjab, at present, has about 200 coaches working in 20 districts. The Sports Department has not recruited coaches in the last 25 years. By 2011, most of the coaches will retire, leaving the department with a handful of outsourced coaches. We immediately need to recruit coaches so that we have at least one coach per game at various district headquarters and 142 coaches at the block level and in some specialised centres in the rural areas.

The Sports Department, Education Department, sports clubs and NGOs in Punjab have to start working together and they can make the difference. If Sansarpur can produce so many Olympians in hockey, Bhiwani in Haryana can change the boxing scenario, Baldev Singh can bring Shahbad Markanda on the hockey map, why canít we?

The writer is a former international

hockey player and was the coach of the Indian team for the 1996

Barcelona Olympics
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Fit Zone
Side light
Bharat Thakur

How many times have you stood in front of a mirror and observed your body? And felt helpless? Either you stay away from the mirror or send yourself hate waves. All you need to do is focus some time and attention on yourself.

It is so fascinating that we can actually sculpt our bodies the way we want to. No matter what shape we are, we can be what we want through yoga. Although fat accumulates in many parts of the body, it affects the shape of our body most when it comes on to the sides.

Given below are some postures that help to shape the body by working on the sides. Start by holding these postures for 30 seconds and extend the holding for a minute. Breathe normally.

Tadasana

  • Stand with the feet together.

  • Raise the arms over the head, interlock the fingers and turn the palms upward.

  • Inhale and stretch the arms, shoulders and chest upwards.

  • Raise the heels coming upon the toes. Stretch the whole body from top to bottom, without losing balance or moving the feet.

  • Hold the breath and the position for a few seconds.

Benefits: It develops physical and mental balance.
The entire spine is stretched and loosened.
The muscles of the sides are stretched and weight loss takes place here.

Trikonasana

  • Stand with the feet about a metre apart.

  • Inhale and raise your arms up to the shoulder level.

  • Slowly, exhale and bend to the right side and stretch your left arm over the head.

  • Inhale and come back.

  • Repeat the other side.

Benefits: It stimulates the nervous system and alleviates nervous depression. This posture improves digestion and alleviates constipation. It tones the reproductive organs and removes the excess weight from the trunk region. It tones the entire body.

Parivritti janusirasana

  • Sit with the legs about a metre apart. Bend your right knee and place the heel against the perineum.

  • Hold your right knee with the left hand. 

  • Inhale and raise your right arm up. Slowly, exhale and bend to the left side. 

  • Try to hold your left big toe with the right hand.

  • Hold your posture for a few seconds and slowly inhale and come back.

  • Repeat on the other side.

Benefits: It gives a stretch to the hamstring muscles and tones the entire body. It helps to remove excess weight from the whole side. It stimulates the pancreas. It gives a nice massage to all the abdominal organs.

Tiryaka tadasana

  • Stand with the feet about 2 feet apart.

  • Interlock the fingers and turn the palms outward.

  • Inhale and raise the arms over the head.

  • While exhaling, bend to the left side.

  • Inhale and slowly come†back.

  • Repeat on the right side.

Benefits: It helps to massage and loosen the sides of the waist, correcting the figure and helping in weight loss.

Parighasana

  • Stand on your knees.

  • Stretch the right leg sideways.

  • Slowly, inhale and raise your left arm.

  • Exhale and bend to the right side.

  • Try to hold your toes with both hands.

  • Inhale and slowly come back.

  • Repeat on other side.

Benefits: This asana removes the excess weight from the sides.

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