Big dreams: Poor, but on way to becoming judo stars

  • Aakanksha N Bhardwaj , Hindustan Times, Jalandhar
  • Updated: Jul 23, 2016 15:49 IST
Budding judo players getting training from district judo coach at SD Phullarwan School in Jalandhar on Friday. (HT Photo)

Sharmila, 11, knows every move to win. Determined, she manages to defeat her competitor and says “Ippon” was what I wanted. ‘Ippon’ is a Japanese term that is used in the judo game, which means that the player has achieved a highest score. Daughter of a rickshaw puller, Sharmila has a detailed idea of every rule and tactics that need to win the game.

Every morning at 6, around 20 Judo aspirants, who belong to poor families, gather at SD Phullarwan School and start practicing there.

They do continuous practice until they start sweating profusely and after a short water break, they start practicing again.

The students stop at 8 when the school bell rings, which signifies the starting of first lecture. They then change and carrying their bags proceed to the classes.

They take training from district judo coach SP Rana. Rana says, “I feel amazed when I see their dedication and stamina.”

“I have noticed students from high profile families don’t come here to perform; actually, they cannot play, because the kind of stamina the game needs, only these students have that. They are rough and tough,” he said while telling them how to make their next move.

Aakash Jaiswal, 11, whose father is a worker in a factory, after giving his test performance to the coach, comes, takes rest and indulges in a conversation with one of his friends, who is waiting for his turn. He asks, “Did I play well?”

Jaiswal wants to become a great judo player. “I have a dream to play so that my parents watch me on TV when I play at national and international levels.” Asked them if they don’t get hurt while playing, little Simran, 12, who has played at the state level and is a daughter of a

compounder, said with confidence, ‘Ye chotti moti choto se kuch khas fark nahee padta’ (Such small injuries don’t matter to us).”

No uniforms

The sports department has nothing to give them. No uniform and no diet. It was only a month ago, when shooting of a film was going on and these players also shot some scenes in the movie. The film maker gave money to the coach to buy uniform for them.

The sports department has not given any uniform for the players for two years. Asked how did they feel when they got the uniform? They replied in unison, “Bahut achha”. “Now I actually feel like a player”, said 10-year-old Shubham.

Rana said, “The department has not made any provision to give diet to the players who play judo in the district.”

Aditi Chauhan, daughter of a Class 4 employee, has already played nationals and she says that she will continue doing practice till her dream is achieved.

Rana said that the students were a blessing and were upcoming judo stars. It was important for the parents to send their wards to play sports, he added.

“They must understand the value of sports, here we see the hospitals having heavy rush and sports fields are empty. If adopted sports in life, one never has to go to the hospital,” he said.

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