The legendary Indian tradition of ‘teacher-and-student’, referred to as the “Guru-Shishya Parampara” will be celebrated in grand style at the Opening Ceremony of the inaugural Khelo India School Games (KISG) at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium on January 31. Depictions of numerous coach-athlete combinations in sports ranging from archery to wrestling and from across the country will be part of the spectacle.
A poignant part of the ceremony will train the spotlight on some wonderful and well-known combinations of coaches and athletes from the disciplines that form a part of the Khelo India School Games (KISG) programme. This will ensure that the coaches, who teach basics to their students, and help them become elite athletes are given their due recognition.
The Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi was very keen that society honours the coaches who work tirelessly to ensure India a place in the sporting firmament. “We have some wonderful examples of coaches playing a big role in the rise and success of Indian sportspersons and it will be great to bring the tradition back in focus,” he said.
This rich combination of coaches and athletes who will represent the ‘Guru-Shishya Parampara’ in the Opening Ceremony is bound to inspire more such tales across the country as it bids to revamp the structure in such a way that talented young athletes are given a massive platform to perform and are then nurtured into champions of the future.
The initiative of showcasing of coaches of all levels with their eminent trainees is in keeping with Col. Rathore’s recent indication that the Government is revamping the incentives scheme to encompass all coaches who have been instrumental in an athlete’s journey from the early days through the development stage to international acclaim.
While most of the ‘Gurus’ have numerous ‘Shishyas’ in their tutelage, there always are some who excel and win laurels at the highest levels. Some of the legendary ‘Gurus’ and some of their ‘Shishyas’ that will be featured in the Opening Ceremony include:
Cricket (Ramakant Achrekar and Sachin Tendulkar): Mr. Ramakant Achrekar is the Guru of one of the most outstanding Indian sportspersons, Sachin Tendulkar, who became the first Bharat Ratna in the field of Sports. Tendulkar, known for being a multiple record breaker in cricket, is now a Member of the Indian Parliament, but continues to take the blessings of his mentor.
Archery (Dharmendra Tiwary and Dola Banerjee): Dharmendra Tiwary has been instrumental in the identification and training of many an archer and the most prominent has been Dola Banerjee. Since 2003, Dola has become the national champion and represented India at various international competitions including two Olympic Games. Dola was conferred with the Arjuna Award in 2005.
Athletics (PT Usha and Tintu Luka and Jishna Mathew): India’s finest woman athlete, P T Usha, has now set up the Usha School of Athletics, where she is imparting training to many young athletes. Her most successful ‘Shishyas’ include Tintu Luka and Jishna, who have represented India and won many an international medal.
Badminton (P Gopichand and Saina Nehwal/ PV Sindhu/ K Srikanth): P Gopichand has been training the three athletes, from their inception P Gopichand Badminton Academy, Hyderabad. True Guru Shishya legacy- They have been training at the same place and under the same Guru throughout their career. Gopi has had among his pupils Saina Nehwal, who did have another coach for a brief period, PV Sindhu, K Srikanth and many others.
Basketball (Amarjeet Singh and Vishesh Briguvanshi): Amarjeet Singh, an ex-SAI coach is a Basketball Guru. During his illustrious career of three decades, he has produced no less than 23 international players and that includes the current Indian men team captain Vishesh Briguvanshi.
Boxing (Ibomcha Singh and MC Marykom and Vikas Krishan): L Ibomcha Singh, award-winning boxing Guru, has trained scores of national and international medal-winning pugilists including the MC Marykom, the five times world champion and Olympic Bronze medalllist. Even more significant is how he helped start a boxing revolution in Manipur.
Football: (Savio Medeira and Baichung Bhutia /Sunil Chhetri) has been the Guru of the Indian football teams, which have featured outstanding players like Baichung Bhutia and the current Captain of the Indian football team, Sunil Chhetri.
Gymnastics (Bisheshwar Nandi and Dipa Karmakar): Bisheshwar Nandi has been training the Dipa Karmakar from the time she took up the sport seriously. Dipa has won medals at the Asian Championships and also placed fourth at the 2016 Olympics. One of the finest examples of the ‘Guru Shishya’ legacy, Dipa has had Nandi as her Guru through her the most important stages of her career.
Hockey (Harendra Singh and Sardara Singh/ Rani): Harendra Singh, the current Guru of the Indian women’s team has been Guru of many Indian Junior men team also in the past. Sardara and Rani have been his pupils during his illustrious career.
Kabaddi (Balwan Singh and Rahul Chaudhary/ Ajay Thakur): Balwan Singh is the present head ‘Guru’ of the Indian men’s Kabaddi team, which has been extremely successful at events including at the Asian Games and World Cups. Ajay Thakur and Rahul Chaudhary are two of the prominent members of the Indian team and they are the ‘Shishyas’ of Balwan Singh.
Kho-kho (Sanjeev Sharma and Sarika Kale): Sanjeev Sharma the current head Guru of the Indian women’s team is a big name in the Kho Kho fraternity. Sarika is the current Indian women’s team captain. Both were part of the Indian team that won the gold at the SAG at Guwahati in 2016.
Swimming (Nihar Ameen and Virdhawal Khade/ Srihari Natarajan): Nihar Ameen has been instrumental in the identification and nurturing of outstanding Indian swimmers like Virdhawal Khade, Sandeep Sejwal and Srihari is one of the upcoming talents. Srihari has already represented the country in various international competitions.
Volleyball (GE Sridharan and Vaishnav/ Akhin GS): Among many young volleyball players G E Sridharan has trained two most impressive have been Vaishnav and Akhin GS. They were identified early and have now represented India in various international competitions.
Weightlifting (Pal Singh Sandhu and Swati Singh/ Ravi Kumar): Pal Singh Sandhu, the ‘Guru’ of the Indian teams for a long tenure has trained many international stars. The most prominent ones include Ravi Kumar, a seasoned weightlifter who was decorated with Arjuna Award in 2011, and Swati Singh, a bronze medallist at the CWG 2014.
Wrestling (Satpal and Sushil Kumar): Satpal is one of the most prominent Indian wrestling Gurus. He is the mentor and guide for one of the most outstanding Indian sportspersons, Sushil Kumar, a double Olympic medallist with a bronze in 2012 and a silver medal in 2016 Olympic Games. Sushil is the only Indian to have won two individual Olympic medals.
Wrestling (Kuldip Malik and Sakshi Malik): Kuldip Malik and Sakshi Malik: Kuldip has been training Sakshi on regular basis in the national coaching camp and was instrumental in her winning the Bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games.
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