How well can DU stu­dents bal­ance sports with stud­ies?

AIM­ING HIGH Na­tional champs at DU have been bal­anc­ing sports and stud­ies with help from col­leges and class­mates, but do they need more sup­port?

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - HT Education - - Front Page - Van­dana Ram­nani HT Ed­u­ca­tion Cor­re­spon­dent

In­dia’s per­for mance in the re­cent Rio Olympics has been dis­mal to say the least. Sak­shi Ma­lik got the bronze in women’s freestyle wrestling and PV Sindhu the sil­ver in the women’s bad­minton sin­gles event. For a coun­try with a pop­u­la­tion of 1.3 bil­lion, two medals are just not enough. What can be done about it? For starters, giv­ing ad­e­quate sup­port to young ath­letes in col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties can en­sure they are able to give 100% to their sport­ing dis­ci­plines.

It’s not as if uni­ver­si­ties in In­dia do not lay em­pha­sis on sports cur­ricu­lum. A l arge num­ber of stu­dents get ad­mit­ted ev­ery year through the sports quota af­ter tough tri­als (as many as 10,000 ap­pli­ca­tions were re­ceived un­der the sports quota by Delhi Univer­sity this year). There are many stu­dents from Delhi Univer­sity who par­tic­i­pated in the Olympics and many oth­ers who are na­tional champs. This year three stu­dents par­tic­i­pated in the Olympics. Lalit Mathur of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa Col­lege rep­re­sented In­dia in ath­let­ics, Manika Ba­tra and Apurvi Chan­dela of Je­sus and Mary Col­lege com­peted in ta­ble tennis and shoot­ing, re­spec­tively.

I nder preet Kaur Nanda, as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor of phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion and sports at Sri Guru Tegh Ba­hadur Khalsa Col­lege, Univer­sity of Delhi, says that col­leges try and help stu­dents who ex­cel in sports in which­ever way pos­si­ble. “If their sched­ule does not per­mit them to at­tend classes, col­leges are of­ten lib­eral when it comes to giv­ing them at­ten­dance. They are also al­lowed to turn in their as­sign­ments and tu­to­ri­als slightly later than other stu­dents if they are out for prac­tice ses­sions or at­tend­ing camps.”

Most s t udents ac­tive i n sports pur­sue BA or BCom pro­grammes. Very few take up sci­ence, she adds.

HT Ed­u­ca­tion caught up with a few cham­pi­ons who have made it big at the na­tional level and have been ‘brav­ing’ it out, bal­anc­ing hours of sports prac­tice, stud­ies and meet­ing at­ten­dance cri­te­ria. All of them were of the view that train­ing and prac­tice was the only way for stu­dents to achieve suc­cess at global sport­ing events. They were ably sup­ported by class­mates who were ever ready to share daily class notes on What­sApp. The prac­tice fa­cil­i­ties of­fered on col­lege cam­puses, not to men­tion the spe­cial di­ets ar­ranged for them at the col­lege can­teens, helped too.

Many of the cham­pi­ons, how­ever, were of the view that their per­for­mance could im­prove if the univer­sity en­sured they had ac­cess to the lat­est sports equip­ment (which could cost l akhs) and give t hem cash awards as and when they won medals. Cur­rently, the univer­sity re­wards stu­dents 500 for win­ning gold in in­ter-univer­sity sports events, 400 for sil­ver and

200 for bronze. Cor­po­rate spon­sor­ships can also help, they say.

Divya, a na­tional archery cham­pion from Khalsa Col­lege, said “Our equip­ment costs any­thing be­tween 2.5 lakh to 3 lakh and bows are priced at 1.5 lakh. A dozen ar­rows cost 36,000. Much of the amount we re­ceive as stipend from the uni­ver­stiy goes into our diet. I wish all this could be taken care of ei­ther by the univer­sity or through spon­sor­ships.”

Ram Karan Singh, who did his grad­u­a­tion from Satyawati Col­lege and was pur­su­ing an MA in Hindi from Khalsa Col­lege, was all praise for his in­sti­tute. The 25-year-old visu­ally chal­lenged Ar­juna awardee and a mid­dle dis­tance run­ner won medals at the 2010 Para Asian Games held in Guangzhou, China and the 2014 Para Asian Games in In­cheon (Korea) as a stu­dent of Khalsa Col­lege. At the in­sti­tute he was made to fol­low a sports­man’s diet. Teach­ers were also ex­tremely co­op­er­a­tive with at­ten­dance. “Class­mates were The Royal Com­mon­wealth So­ci­ety has l aunched The Queen’s Com­mon­wealth Es­say Com­pe­ti­tion 2017 on the theme of A Com­mon­wealth for Peace.

The launch co­in­cides with the United Na­tions’ In­ter­na­tional Day of Peace. Build­ing upon the 2016 theme of An In­clu­sive Com­mon­wealth, this year’s top­ics ask young peo­ple to ex­plore a deepe­run­der­standin­gof the­mean­ing of peace and the role of the Com­mon­wealth as a net­work of and for democ­racy, hu­man rights and peace. The direc­tor of The Royal Com­mon­wealth So­ci­ety, Michael Lake CBE, says, this year’s the­meof ACom­mon­wealth for Peace asks young writ­ers to ex­plore peace at ev­ery level: from the per­sonal to the po­lit­i­cal to the pan-Com­mon­wealth. Open to all ci­ti­zens and res­i­dents of the Com­mon­wealth aged 18 and un­der, the com­pe­ti­tion is open un­til May 1, 2017. For more log on to: www:// thercs.org/youth-and-ed­u­ca­tion/ the-queens-com­mon­wealth-es­say­compe­ti­tion/

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