India scripted history as it topped the medal tally in Asian Athletics Championship 2017 and made every Indian proud. With an abundance of raw talent in India, there is hardly any initiative which is taken to identify the talent pool and hone their skills. There are coaches and training centres in the country, yet sportspersons often fail to perform at the international standard.
Professional sports education is a segment which is completely ignored in the country and coaches here are hardly aware of disciplines like sports nutrition, psychology or even injury mitigation. This Delhi-based sports researcher is doing his bit to bring a change in acknowledging the wide base of talent and nurturing sports person.
Adinath Naik is the founder of Jumping Gorillas, a sports revolution aiming at ushering in professional sports development in the country. It all started as a fitness consultant eight years back.Today, with the help of Snehal Naik, a social worker from Palgarh, Adinath has successfully begun a grooming and athletic skill development center for tribal children. When The Logical Indian spoke to Adinath about the motto behind starting such a talent nurturing and grooming activity, he said, “I want to bring about a sports revolution in India. We have talented sportsmen and women in the country but there is a lack of attention in recognising and shaping the talent; in this case, we are lagging far behind than any other country.”
Lofty Dreams Sports Development Trust
Currently, Adinath is working on the mission to acknowledge, recognise and channelise the talent pool present amongst the Adivasi kids of Vikramgarh village in the Palgarh district of Maharashtra. Most national level athletes in India hail from the rural areas and are hardly exposed to any sort of professional skill enhancement. The idea is to train them by utilising the inherent qualities. Due to the undulating geographical terrain, these children have body structures perfectly suited for athletics. They are suited for sports like archery, shooting, javelin throw and long jumps to name a few. As a sports nutritionist himself, Adinath said, “Their diet comprises food items which are helpful in continuing certain sports and is conducive in the long run. If trained and groomed, they can be athletes of great repute.”
This program of athletic skill development is done with the help of a Mobile Sports Van. These vans are fully equipped with modern machinery which helps in analysing their skills and incubating the skills to build ace sportspersons out of these children.This is a natural advantage which makes them perfect to receive training for national and international events. Yet low muscle mass might act as a hindrance in development, which if dealt scientifically can perform well.
At present, the first batch of one hundred and twenty students are being trained. After their training, they will be given a professional score that will help them in shaping their sports career. They also can join the armed forces or even work as professional sports mentors. This ‘sport revolution’ will see ten coaches actively training 1000 tribal kids from the region. “Our motto is to train these children and nurture their talent at a very young age. The age group we are looking at is under fourteen. Going forward, they will get far better exposure and education that shall change their lifestyle to a large extent. They can avail jobs which are perfect for their skill set,” Naik said.
This training institute will have a state-of-the-art field specifically designed to suit the needs of the athletes. This Sports Revolution is looking forward to Professional Sports development in India. Athletic kids development program will be a crowdfunded project and online campaigns will be conducted to raise the funds.
So far, Sports Revolution has been doing extensive work in an area which has been quite neglected till now. Work at the grassroots level is always important if one is to even think about improving the sporting scenario in this country. As such, Adinath and his efforts are quite laudable and appreciated.
Let’s take the example of Dasarath. Coming from an extremely impoverished background, he used to work at a beer bar to make a living. He was trained and developed in an ultra-run marathon and he today is working as a skilled coach and a professional sports teacher in an international school. In India, there is a severe lack of infrastructure, training and awareness all of which are necessary for the positive growth of a sportsperson.
Coaches are the ones who train athletes but their holistic development is ignored. For example, in the case of an injury, the athlete is taken to an orthopaedic instead of a doctor with a specialisation in sports injury. This is the area of intervention which Naik, a professional sports researcher is looking at. For the last seven years, his institute has worked closely with athletic skill development for several national, state and district level players. He has inducted them into professional training and skill sets which include imparting knowledge about nutrition, psychology, scientific approach in mitigating injuries and sound idea about sports management. After imbibing detailed knowledge, seventy-two sportspersons have been recruited as coaches in various international schools across the country. Thirty women hockey players were provided education, training and after comprehensive honing their skills, they are successfully mentoring children in schools.
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