"BWF Coaches Education Program, Boon for the North East Region"
Hodam Mamcha (Gyaneswor) *
XIth hill district Badminton Championship 2013 at Churachandpur in October 2013 :: Pix - Thangpu Samte
"O Lord! Shower your blessings upon me, let me be the winner" players pray.
It is a fact that, Hindus go to Temple, Muslims to Mosque, Christians to Church and others go to their respective places of worship to pray. Mostly/Generally people of different religion do not pray together at a particular place of worship. But, in a playfield when a match is arranged/played the players belonging to different caste, creed and religion pray together to the God whom they believe and worship. They don't need a Church, Mosque or a Temple, the playfield itself becomes a place of worship for the players.
Keeping in view the world's most important championships, it is obvious that the game of Badminton is best suited to Mongoloid players of Asia continent. Looking at the size of the playing court, height of the net and the equipment used by the Badminton players, many people consider that, Badminton will be more suitable to the European and other players who can take advantage of their height and body structure. But, this has been proved wrong by the Asian players.
Badminton is considered the fastest racket game in the world (332 kmph), hence, the players are also required to be fast in movement, quick in thinking and take a decision immediately, good reflex of the whole body and have quick recovery in every respect. The Asian Mongoloid players although the size is small are more suitable than those players of other continent.
The original inhabitants of the North East Region including Sikkim also belong to the Mongoloid group. The physical structure, food habit, attitude, style of living etc. are closely similar to those Mongoloids of Asian continent. However, people of the North East India are still unable to be part of those Mongoloids who dominate the Badminton World. Though Assam has produced international players including Olympian, Our North East Region as a whole is still starving to have world class achiever. The reason being lack of facilities to become top class players and uncertain future when they reach the top spot after sacrificing a lot during their youthful time.
Since a long time back, in the other parts of the world, Badminton has become an indoor game, but in our region, construction of such indoor stadium started very late. I believe that, even today none of the State Badminton Associations in the North East Region has its own Indoor Badminton Court constructed on its own land which can be utilised for the purpose of Badminton only throughout the year. This is one of the biggest drawbacks and the major reason for the region's lagging behind.
Moreover, North East is mainly hilly region. The climatic condition and environment in the region especially in the hills are not suitable for Badminton. Except for very few people who get the facility of playing in indoor courts, most of the N.E. players have no option but to play Badminton seasonally, that is during the non monsoon/non raining season and before the commencement of windy season. Thus, we cannot dream of becoming world/Olympic champion. Hence, indoor playing facility is very important for the region.
If such infrastructures are made available in the nook and corner of the region, I hope, the game will definitely attract more players. The young and energetic players will come out for competitions and ageing people will enjoy playing Badminton for their health and recreation. Thus we will be successful in creating mass involvement and participation in the game of Badminton and after that there will be no difficulty in producing world class players.
Another important factor is of finance. At present, a player when he goes for a normal Badminton practice, he needs a minimum of Rs. 500/- per day for shuttle cock, diet and other necessary expenses. Extra expenses for rackets, kits etc. are also to be borne. For a heavy and serious practice for the advanced players, the expenses will be much more. It is true that, the people of this region are economically backward. Most of the people are struggling for survival. So, it will not be possible for such poor persons to bring out at least Rs. 15,000/- per month for Badminton only.
In the meantime most of the parents want their children to concentrate towards academic studies rather than games & sports, as they believe that there is no certainty of a sportsperson to have a bright future. The job offer of lower grade posts to the top players cannot be considered as sufficient and satisfactory. Such an offer may not be able to attract the children of well-to-do families (who can afford the expenses for playing Badminton).
The attention of the Government should be drawn to provide special reservation in central civil and state civil services and police services and other lucrative jobs. Reservation for sportspersons in studies, especially higher studies might draw everyone's attention and attraction to the players. This is not only for Badminton but also for other games & sports.
For a sportsperson's achievement parents also play a vital role in encouraging their wards. Without the support and care of the parent it will not be possible to get success. Unlike those days of yesteryears, if anybody wants to win in a big competition one cannot casually play and participate in competitions. Modern sports have become so tough and competitive that, a sportsperson has to devote full time for sports. As such, experts are seriously considering about the adjustment of time for sports and academic studies. Differences are there between an amateur and a professional but, the devotion of time, energy, and efforts etc. are almost the same. So, one has to work hard like a professional to get highest achievement in sports.
Let us have a look into the dominance of China in Badminton. China has developed the good habits that keep them winning in Badminton. But, how? First, China's Badminton men and women programme are supported by China's Government. This helps them continually dominate Badminton. The Chinese Government takes care of everything for the athletes in the Badminton Program. For example Govt. takes care of the athlete's housing, meals and training. Therefore, China's athletes do not have to worry about anything except for playing Badminton and preparing for competitions. The other countries always depend on federations for support.
Most of the other countries have to deal with real world issues like financial obligations because their government is not providing everything like China's Badminton team. China has a huge pool of talent to pick up for recruiting players for their Badminton program. This is one of the ways that they became the best Badminton Program in the world. China is a very big country with a population of about 1.38 billion people. It is said that, there are about 100 million people in China that takes part in Badminton.
They have so many athletes involved in Badminton that many second or third tier players could be the best players on their team if they played for other countries. Badminton is continually becoming more popular in China. Therefore, even more and more people in China are playing Badminton whether just for fun or in serious competition. This will help make the talent pool of Badminton players grow even larger.
The various reasons why they keep winning aren't going to change because they have created a good system to develop and nurture their talent. What about our North East Region. As we do not have the facility and system like China the numbers of players for competitions are reducing day by day while in China it is increasing. Most of the states in the N.E. Region do not have big industries and companies which can be approached for support and sponsorship etc. Hence, the state associations have no alternative but to seek financial support etc. from the Government. General Public, Small Industries etc. Small business establishments also extend their valuable co-operation while organising competitions etc. but, it cannot be considered as sufficient to produce world class achievers.
In the last London Olympics 2012 China swept all the Gold Medals in Badminton. Let us have a look at another area of dominance in Badminton in the said Olympics. The fact is that 50 of the 172 Shuttlers at London Olympics were either born in China or of Chinese ancestry. India's Saina Nehwal played 6 (six) matches; of them 4 (four) were against players of Chinese descent. It is also considered that, perhaps excellence in Badminton is part of the Chinese DNA.
India's Jwala Gutta, who played both Women's Doubles and Mixed Doubles in Badminton, is born of a Chinese mother. The example has been taken up as maximum numbers of players in Badminton were of Chinese descent. In Badminton record speaks that, players of Asian Mongoloids always dominate. So, it will be a wise policy of the Government of India and the North Eastern Council to take up Badminton as a special game to be encouraged and promoted in the North East Region with full confidence and belief that one day the players of this region will also bring Olympic Medals.
A very fast growing development in the North East is parents' keenness to send their children to schools and colleges to get proper education for better future of their wards/children. However, most of the parents do not understand and do not try to understand for what kind of education they are sending their children. Simply they think their children will become a doctor, an engineer, an IAS/IPS/IFS officer etc. etc. if they get education in the so called good schools or colleges. They never think whether their child will be suitable to become a doctor, an engineer or an officer.
We must realise that, all human beings have different kind of gifted qualities to be at the top of a field. First we must identify the area in which the child may excel. To identify the area the child is to be tested in different fields' i.e. academic study, games & sports, arts & culture, music, social service so on. For such a test, facilities of these subjects are required to be made available to the children. If the facility is available in the locality, in the beginning they will enjoy for fun and recreation, later they will automatically choose the area he is interested and suitable to him and will lead to become an achiever.
Another point to be noted is the availability of infrastructure and required facilities in the schools and colleges. The career of a person always starts and develops during the school and college time. Now a days we find many schools and colleges coming up everywhere, but many of the schools and colleges in the region do not have adequate facilities for games & sports, culture, music, literary and library etc. mostly considered as extracurricular activities which is essential for a student.
In some schools even assembly of students are done in the class rooms only, as they do not have enough space for the assembly. In these schools & colleges the student will concentrate in academic study and confined within the four walls of the class room only. Then how can we expect the students of the school/college to excel in other fields?
In this regard the state governments of the North East Region may be suggested that, they take a decision not to recognise the schools and colleges unless the schools and colleges have the required infrastructure and sufficient facilities for extracurricular activities. It will be wrong if we feel that academic study is the only means to become a successful person. In the beginning the person may join such extracurricular activity just for fun but, once he found himself suitable and comfortable thereby making certain progress, definitely he will continue participation in the field, later he will become an achiever.
In this competitive world of games & sports it will be very difficult to shine even at the National level without the new scientific method of training, coaching and diet, that too after catching the sportspersons at the early stage of childhood. If we have to target the Olympic Gold Medal, the sportspersons must start training, coaching and participation in competitive events at an early age.
It is felt that, Badminton players of the North East do not get proper exposure, they do not get enough chances to participate in Major Championships due to lack of sufficient fund/financial assistance, communication gap and difficulties in reaching the venues of Major Tournaments (except very few, most of the areas of the N.E. states are not inter connected by train and air). To become a top level player, one requires gaining experience which can be acquired only after participating in a number of big tournaments and also training together with the top level players.
The players of the region are not getting enough chances even to play with the Indian top players. Just to participate in the National Championships and one or two major tournaments in which they lose to the unknown players of the country in early rounds cannot be considered as exposure. They need to participate in a number of tournaments and training camps for a long stint.
It is a fact that, Badminton is fast growing in the North East Region and it is everyone's belief that, one day the players of the North East Region, Manipur in particular will shine in the international arena. With this belief Manipur Badminton Association led by Shri Bijoy Koijam as its President is trying at its level best to promote the players of the state. It is quite interesting to know that, parents of Badminton players in Manipur are coming out to fully support their children physically, mentally, monetarily and materially to become World/Olympic champions.
They have started to send their children for advanced training under the qualified coaches in India and abroad. Many of the parents have joined hands together to bring foreign coaches to Imphal to get advanced coaching.
The President of Badminton Association of India Dr. Akhilesh Das Gupta has taken up the initiative to start Coaches Education Program in India with the certificated BWF Coaches as Tutors. The first of its kind in the history of Badminton India was hosted by UP Badminton Association at his home city Lucknow. The second program was started at Imphal on 12th July 2016 and concluded on 19th July, 2016. This wonderful and thoughtful step has been taken up to make the Indian players 'World /Olympic Champions'.
The vision of Dr. Akhilesh Das Gupta "without the well qualified trainers/coaches players cannot improve" is highly commendable. We the sports lovers really appreciate such a venture. In this second phase of the BWF Coaches Education Program (Level -I) held at Imphal 17 (seventeen) trainees from different states of the NE Region took part. The BWF Tutors were Nikhil Chandra Dhar from Bangladesh and Aaron Lee Inbaraj from Malaysia. From Badminton Association of India Apinder Sabharwal was the Chief Coordinator and Raja Bhattacharjee , Dy. Director, BAI.
This bold step taken up by Dr. Akhilesh Das Gupta, President, BAI can be considered as a boon to the Badminton players, lovers and promoters in the region in general and Manipur in particular. I hope the coaches will get the benefit of the program and they will become the responsible coaches to develop the players of their respective states to become World/Olympic Champions. We are looking forward to see the players of the country on the Olympic/World Championships Victory Stand while playing the Country's National Anthem.
* Hodam Mamcha (Gyaneswor) wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on July 22, 2016.
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