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?
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.
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