BEVINDA COLLACO | If there is one thing that has come through in the last week that showed an Olympian frenzy, it is this. We need more coaches like Pullela Gopichand, Bishweshwar Nandi and Shyam Budaki.
These men have slogged as hard as the athletes they coached to bring them up to match the best in international sport, despite all odds.
We cannot seriously expect our greedy, intelligence challenged sports politicians and bureaucrats, up and down the hierarchy to step up. They join politics and government service for a cushy job and a lifelong pension.
No. It is the parents, the athletes and the coaches who form an invincible bond that makes a winner. This has nothing to do with girls and women power and all that rubbish. Not even parenting. There are enough parents in our billion point two population that encourage their children in sports, but they can progress only up to a point in their encouragement. The child has to have what it takes, and for that the kid needs professional coaching. This has nothing to do with parenting or politics or useless government servants. This has everything to do with blood, sweat and tears. And time. And money. Regardless of gender.
These three coaches have laid their personal lives on the line too. Dipa wants her coach to get the Dronacharya Award. That’s the measure of a great athlete – a great individual. Give credit where it is due.
Frankly, I don’t buy that argument that athletes get into a sport to play for their country. It has nothing to do with denashun. They love a sport, they find they have the skill for it, coaches recognize their talent, work on it, until the athlete can stand eyeball to eyeball with the best in the world.
Then the brainwashing begins with the media stirring up a nation of spectators to lustily worship at their feet. The nation has nothing to do with their long slog to the top. The parents, the coaches, the athletes did.
The thing India needs above all are coaches with the dedication, stamina and fire of Gopichand, Nandi and Budaki.