Stories that inspire
Aakanksha N Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, September 22
Jagjit Wrestling Academy in Wariana recognises talented players. The academy has prepared several players, who have performed at national as well as international level. Most of the players who have been getting training at the academy belong to the economically backward families, but their dreams are big enough to not let any problem come their way.
The idea of training children was given by former international player Jagjit Singh, who is now posted as ADCP (Headquarters) Jalandhar. There are total 200 players taking training at the academy at present.
Rajinder Singh, the coach associated with the academy since it’s inception, said it was in 2001, when children from villages were called and given training.
“There used to be an akhara near a crematorium then and I used to give training to around 30 young children. There were no mats back then, we would play on soil. But then Jagjit sir saw that the players were performing well in the game and in 2014, a proper academy was established at Wariana and since then there has been no looking back. We are growing,” he said. Until October 2016, only boys were taught wrestling, but it was only after Sakshi Malik won RIO Olympics, that the need to start wrestling for girls was finally taken into consideration. Today, there are several girls training at the academy.
The coach said to ensure that no young child falls prey to drugs the academy was started so that they could channel their energy in the right direction.
Be it daughters of labourers, marginal farmers and daily wagers, the girls are practicing really hard to become star wrestlers one day. Prabhjot Kaur (13), a gold medallist, is enthusiastic about the game.
Amarpreet of the district is another wonder, who has already won seven medals and is polishing her skills. Daughter of a marginal farmer, Harpreet Kaur, is another wrestler, who had won a gold in the National School Games held last year. And, there are several other girls, who have been making their parents proud by winning medals. Coaches at the academy are proud of their students. Mandeep Sharma, an international coach, said they used to practise two times a day — in the morning and evening — before the pandemic.
“Refreshments and uniform were also given by the academy itself to the players, who have played at the state and national levels,” he said.
Another coach Dev Anand also joined the academy a year ago. There is some help from the Sports Department, as wrestling mats and gym facilities have been provided by the department.
Many players from the academy have already played nationals and many have also been posted in the Punjab Police and paramilitary forces.
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