Weight & watch
The Indian team preparing for the 2010 Commonwealth Games near Cape Town. The boys, according to national coach Hendre Marnitz of South Africa, are 'small'. Deepika Sharma reports.other Updated: Aug 09, 2009 00:46 IST
Size does matter. At least, in rugby it does. What with your opponent not just three times bigger, but also three times meaner!
Take, for example, the Indian team preparing for the 2010 Commonwealth Games near Cape Town. The boys, according to national coach Hendre Marnitz of South Africa, are 'small'.
After all, our five feet something inches lean boys will be facing the fiery and the fearsome six feet giants as they take on the power and the prowess of some of the greatest rubgy 7 teams at the 2010 Games. South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, to name a few, will be here at the Delhi University grounds come October next year.
So the immediate ambition of the South African coach is to buff the Indian players up. Specialised coaching sessions have been organised to train them to be 'meaner' as well.
The boys are eating six meals a day, hitting the gym more and are being tested against quality opposition in their ongoing camp in South Africa.
But our preparations off the field are certainly not going to help. Especially, when the protein supplements are being taken care of by Sports Authority of India (SAI) and every penny you spend is being counted.
"We have specialists in our gym programmes and players have been advised to eat five to six times a day. But a great diet plan needs more funds. Our budget is restricted," says South African Marnitz. "We need more fund to sustain a prolonged diet programme."
Ask Marnitz about the strength and size of the Indian players - the contest will appear like Indian Ants vs Australian Elephants — and he's quick to defend. "No doubt, they are small. But we might just be able to surprise a few teams. That's what we are looking at," he says.
Martinz, however, does have a plan to strengthen his team. He will go scouting in the land of big, bulky, butter-chicken eaters 'Puuunjab' (that's how he pronounces it) to strengthen his team. "Punjab is our main target. We might find some heavily-built men there to strengthen our team."
Will Singhs prove the ultimate kings for our Indian rugby team? Let's hope so.