The fountain head for a sporting culture


Teachers’ Day Special

""Fading photographs of school days remind me of the fading memories of school as we go down the memory lane.   A trip where one delves deep into the brain cells to get memories on paper. School musing are sweet musings – an institution, which prepares for an entire life ahead. Going back nostalgically to the school days is the best bet one can lay hands on.
School teachers in my school days were fortunately affectionate to a batch of students who at best could be described as good in studies, punctual and epithet of discipline.
In school sports- games and sports – took a back seat, thanks to our physical education teacher. A teacher who lectured us on the rules of the games, which we were both mentally and physically not prepared for.
Mind you it was not just football but a half a dozen rules of different games, which we never played in our life, were thrust upon us. That was the start of the academic year when we had to stay indoors.  So naturally in the rainy season PT period was the worst period. Thus a mental block had developed.
But two things which clearly ring in my mind is his advice, to be physically tough on the field and not to get frightened of the opponents looking at the size of the opponent’s body and to lose the battle, even before it is won.
Unfortunately, he was too immersed in his own world, that he hardly took interest in fielding the school team in inter school competitions. Thus his mental toughness theory remained at the back of our minds, but with no chance to implement the same for us on the play field.
Sunny days saw us back to the school ground besides the church now covered with a tar surface, where the boys still play football,  cricket unmindful of the serious damage they will be doing to the knee joints, playing on the hard turf surface. The volley ball court had escaped the sword of the so called development fad.
Sports was not certainly PE teacher’s cup of tea. He said he was pole vaulter a la Sergei Bukka, but alas, he could not give tips or glimpses of the shade of brilliance he had in him in his younger days, dangling the pole vault.  Thus we ended up a big zero on the  pole vault front.
In football his apt repeated word came ringing back to my mind "kick the ball high up in the air".  In spite of him hailing from God’s own country, he did precious little   to encourage football or for that matter any other sport, among his students. 
We till date regret missing the nitty-gritty of the sports and the basic training in football, cricket and volleyball, which we got later in life at the College level. Thanks to very cooperative physical education teachers. Teachers who were at a more personal level  friends to us and still dangled the stick of discipline before us.
We never knew what is warm up and cool down, the advantages of warming and cooling before any game. Those were alien words in school and   playing for the college cricket team was a big learning graph. The experiences which we are carrying gamily in our everyday life and implementing on the sports field time and again.
Some of friends had to bear the brunt of the attack of the school PT teacher for not being able to do the exercises of the mass physical exercises to perfection. Thus physical exercises were thrust open the young lads. There was no choice.
The advent of television in Goa in the 1982, Asian games did not make a defiant change in the out look of the PT teacher. The cricket fever just got a grip  over my schoolmates and the school bunch themselves saw that they  arranged cricket matches with the neighboring schools.
A generation which grew up idolizing Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Imran Khan, Zaheer Abbas, G R Vishwanath, had many opportunities to display the talent.
We got a chance to play on turf wickets only when we turned out to play for in the inter-collegiate tournaments. Having played on  matting wickets and unprepared pitches with uneven bounce and having made to dance to the music with pace. It was different lesson bowling on the well prepared pitches.
Tennis ball cricket  is the emergence of the early 90’s. As a generation of the mid 80’s we faced hostile bowling on unprepared pitches without any helmet with  no fear in the mind in the Diwali and summer school  holidays.
Lack of opportunities, lack of proper orientation in sports and physical exercises is one thing which we lacked in school; the cycle has come a full circle.

School chums bump into each other occasionally recalling the magic moments.  School teachers, friends and family environment have the most influential effect on a child personality.
We were definitely influenced by the school teachers, our friends and in spite of limited opportunities and lack of training in cricket. The infringing loyalty for sports was being laid down twenty years down the line to build a tornado.
So kids make the best of the opportunities in school and learn to implement the things which you have learned on the sporting fields or in history, science in you everyday life.

Practical experiences are the best examples you remember for life. So kids, now is the time to put all your learning into use as you should not rue about the missed chances and missed opportunities.

Opportunities come knocking only once and you have to make use of them at the appropriate time, otherwise all the stuffing will come bouncing back and it is no use ruing over the missed chances of scoring the goals of your life.

Author: Armstrong Vaz- Qatar