“Sports should not become routine. It should be about passion”. The Legendary Indian Cricketer, Kapil Dev, once said. This statement from a man, who is in the folkfore of the country’s and global sporting achievements carries immense weight. And when the same converges with the thought “To represent your country is an honor and a great experience” (Michelle Kwan, a much acclaimed US skater), it makes way for sporting fables and honours that rewrite human ecstasy.
We have had sporting icons who won respect for the country across the continents with their gasping display of sporting prowess. The generation of inspired sportspersons of now have taken the mantle from their peers. From Pullela Gopichand to P V Sindhu or Kidambi Srikanth, Sandeep Singh to Manpreet Singh, Sachin Tendulkar to Virat Kohli, they have risen to the pinnacles and form a part of a sporting fraternity that has captured India’s imagination that we get to celebrate their sporting achievements of amazing consistency. It is a special rejoice that their global successes, flowers with the pride of an Indian identity.
The Skill, The Passion and The Resolve. The passions are cast early. And so are the efforts. Blissfully they have been mentored by the best and have been honed into becoming the sporting icons that they have become. Despite the oddities and blows of life many of them have had to overcome, these passionate Indian sportspersons have outclassed the challenges to hold on to their dreams. The support that one gets to pursue a passion needless to say begins with home. The legend of the ‘flying sikh’ Milkha Singh to Sachin Tendulkar, to Mary Kom, M S Dhoni, just to name a few, found their bearings and the dedicated support early in their lives. And they sustained. What’s heartening is that their relentless passion of the sport brought them laurels that have earned them an iconic mention in the game.
Sports as an essential activity, facilitates a healthy, joyous mind, life and lifestyle that cannot be underpinned.
Indulgence in any sporting activity shapes many aspects of our life early on. It provides the ground work for our psycho-social expression from a fairly early age. Be it resonating with different personas within the team, contributing with one’s latent skills for the team’s cause, the joys, high-fives and vitality of celebrations within a group for a winning cause, imbibes positivity, develops confidence amongst peers and heightened sense of self. The other side of tide, introspection and an inspiring resolve to perform better after an unsuccessful outing does open up one to challenges for mending lows of life and secure in shaping a fight back.
We remember with pride the valor and the gumption of playing for the country against its sporting rivals. A ripper from Mervyn Dillon had the ball crashing on to the grill of Anil Kumble’s helmet while batting, going down spitting blood on the pitch and then moments later, returned to the field bowling with his unrelenting mettle, with a heavily bandaged, fractured jaw, against the Windies on their home soil. And snaring the prized scalp of Brian Lara in that state. Sandeep Singh, a prolific scorer for the national hockey team who had quenched the quest of penalty corner conversion that India lacked, injured by a freak bullet fire that ripping through his spine. His journey to making a comeback in the national team after a year on wheel chair, to representing team India again when doctors had given up on him to ever walk again is the one that places salutations and respect to stand in for words! Such pursuit of excellence in their careers defined what indefatigable personas they were.
It was their passion for the game, a resoluteness that stemmed from the responsibility & the undying pride of representing our country. Combined with the skill set they had, we witnessed the stuff, legacies give a standing ovation to.
Today our sporting heroes backed up with superior training and fitness facilities, take the fields, taking down opponents with a vigoured self-belief…Be it Mohd Shami sending back crest-fallen batsmen, leaving at their back jolted wickets, an ode to the mayhem of his unmatched swing or P V Sindhu smashing, rallying, deftly engaging over the net, against the best, to clinch herself the Tag of a World Champion among a hail of medals and honors or Manpreet Singh ruling the mid-field territory with his tackles, bracing defenders, foraying to the forwards with scorching pace. Ever wondered to peep into their early life, struggles, redemptions, pathway of career building their stats in now, under what unfavourable conditions the players toiled and succeeded, gave India those victories that were not merely scorelines but sprang us to podium assurances.
The adrenalin of the present moment of any match, is the score of that moment. That gives height to our thrill, depths to our joy, intensity to our celebrations, with the serene fragrance of nationalist pride. And we do so as one nation, everyone’s celebration !
So get hooked on to consume details that these men and women, bearing that special calibre in their sport, field themselves for our swelled respect, breathtaking moments, the splendour, the awe and a joshful of conversations, decorated with fantastic recall..