The Plight of Budding Sportspeople

Remember that cricketer who failed his matriculation or the swimmer that dropped out of school? Sportspersons failing their exams or dropping out is not very unusual or unheard of. On the contrary, it is pretty commonplace. A sport requires a lot of practice and sometimes a person has to spend hours, in the end, to achieve perfect command over the technicalities. Such exhaustion renders a person incapable of doing anything other than sleep after a training session.

Studies in schools become increasingly tough after the 9th grade. Even studious kids find it difficult to cope up. It becomes a challenge for these young sportsmen to even pass their exams. The government had to introduce policies to help these struggling students. After a lot of deliberation, the sports quota was introduced. The thought behind this was to award deserving sporting talents a better and more fulfilling college education.

Yet, I believe the quota has not solved the problem. Instead of making these young sportspersons serious about their education, they have become even more indifferent towards their studies. The decision has been counterproductive as it has caused more harm than good. A student who is neglecting their studies and is only relying on their sporting talent is in for a rude awakening when they enter college.

Someone who is not regular or is completely disinterested in their studies somehow lands a seat in a top-notch college with the most difficult course because of a quota. This is unfair to other students, especially for those who have spent hours on end to secure a seat in a prestigious college. It is also going to be a shock for the sportsperson who bagged a seat with minimal marks when they look at the curriculum. For that individual, graduating from college will be an insurmountable task.

Instead of honing their skills, they would be forced to study throughout the day to keep up with their peers. They would also be the subject of mockery among other kids who have bagged a seat fair and square. How can a person reach their potential in such conditions?

But can’t these budding sportspeople study? Are they so average that they can’t even understand simple concepts? I strongly disagree. Sportspersons are anything but average. Sports requires a tremendous amount of intelligence, aptitude and observational skills. No matter how hard you work and how well you plan, there is always a factor of uncertainty that is unforeseeable, which can either result in failure or a career-threatening injury. We can study in the comfort of our rooms but in sports, a person has to practice under the blazing sun or amongst the blistering cold winds.

It is quite evident that players not studying properly is not a lack of intelligence but a lack of will and proper planning. They fail to see the pivotal role that education plays in their life and also in their performance. An educated player always has a better understanding of the game and will never fall prey to the evils of doping and substance abuse. It is easier for the bad apples to exploit uneducated players.

Time and again, the world has seen highly educated individuals dominate the playing field. Players like Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid have proved that a person can excel at sports and studies at the same time. If they did it, why can’t the others? People need not always look at sports as a career option. It can also be viewed as a way of life. Sports teaches many valuable lessons that help an individual grow as a person. Determination, perseverance, integrity, humility, discipline are some of the many qualities that are required in sports. Education and sports are not two entirely different dimensions but two sides of the same coin. Both of them are equally important for the complete development of a child into an individual. Studious sportspersons exist. Though they’re not typical social butterflies and are not visible in crowds due to their hectic schedules, these people represent the best of both worlds — sports and education.

Your body when you Swim

Harvard medical school published a study which looked at over 40,000 men, aged 20-90 who were either runners, walkers, swimmers, and physically in active people. With an average length of 13 years of observation and in that time

  • 2% of swimmers passed away
  • 8% of runners passed away
  • 9% of walkers passed away
  • 11% of physically inactive people passed away

This study showed that swimmers are much healthier later on in life than the rest of the population and for women swimming just 30 mins a day can decrease coronary heart disease by 30 to 40 percent.

It also helps to increase HDL aka good Colestrol. Some studies have also shown that aerobic excercise can keep the cells in the lining of your arteries more flexible and healthier. Hence there is no question that swimming is an awesome form of fitness.

Body during swimming

What do you actually feel when you go into the water? Here are some main elements of the human body that gets impacted during swimming.

1. Blood

According to the America Heart Association, swimming is considered as Aerobic activity. Aerobic excercise enlarges the heart and it increases the blood flow through the entire boby. Because swimming is an excercise, the blood has to pump all the molecules into the body.

2. Heart

Since so much of blood has to be pumped into the body, that ties into how it impacts your heart because we know that after 2 mins your body goes into aerobic respiratory because your heart has to pump all the oxygenated blood through the body. So as you swim, your heart is circulating the blood which help your body to perform and achieve the required goals.

3. Skin

You must have seen that the skin color changes of swimmers. For example, some swimmers face turns red when the swim, that happens because your blood vessels are dilating and the brings the heat to the surface into the skin then some people turn red, as a result your skin is showing the effort that you’re putting in the water.

4.Muscles

There’s a reason why swimmers are considered to have best body and physiques in the world compared to any athlete, because swimming engages every single muscles in the water when it comes to your core stability, your upper body, your biceps, your hamstrings, your calves, everything is engaged when you swim.

When you’re swimming, you are micro tearing your muscles while swinging it. And the muscles requires 24-48 hrs to recover those muscles. That’s when sometimes you might feel sore.

5. Lungs

Swimming can actually help increase your lungs volume because in swimming different than other sports, you can’t actually breath whenever you want. It’s not like running when you have full access to oxygen.

In swimming you’re engaging your muscles and you’re not allowed to breathe necessarily at the time when your body might want it. So because you have to get used to this, you actually increase your Vo to max (maximum amount of oxygen body is able to use). So basically you are making your lungs more efficient at functioning.

6. Brain

The Brain loves swimming, because of all the extra blood flow moving through these endorphins that makes you more awake, alert and focus.

But this could happen in any type of sport but swimming is something really special because you’re sort of in your own world where the medium is 800 times more dense than air, which makes you feel free and relaxed.

Hence, from physical health to mental health, swimming is an incredible benefit human body and after reading this you must be thinking of trying swimming.

Neeraj Chopra: History Maker

On the 7th August 2021, 17:38 pm IST, history was created at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo. After a long 13 years, Indian finally won another gold medal at the Olympic Games. Subedar Neeraj Chopra VSM had just won the gold medal in the men javelin’s throw and etched himself into Indian sports history. Neeraj Chopra’s gold medal is India’s first athletic track field medal. Apart from that, Neeraj is only the second Indian to win a gold medal after Abhinav Bindra’s historic performance at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Neeraj Chopra was born on the 23rd of December 1997 in Panipat, Haryana. In 2016, he enlisted in the Indian National Army. He currently holds the post of a Junior Commissioned Officer and has the rank of a Naik Subedar. He has been awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal by the Indian Army. He is a Track and Field athlete and specializes in javelin throw.

Neeraj Chopra started participating in javelin throw competitively since 2016 He has put on consistent performances. Apart from that, he also has 2 world records to his name. He competed in the 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships (the Junior World Championships) and on the 23rd of July 2016 won the gold medal. He also set a world record on that day for the longest throw (86.48 meters). The record still stands and has not been broken yet. In the same year, he won the South Asian Games. His throw of 82.23 meters equaled the national record of that time. In 2017, he won another gold medal at the Asian Athletics Championship. His winning throw was 85.23 meters.

The 2018 Glasgow Commonwealth Games were his first Commonwealth Games, where he ended up winning the gold medal. With this gold medal win in his debut appearance, he not only became to first Indian athlete to win in the javelin throw category at the Commonwealth Games, but also became one of the very few Indian athletes to win a gold medal in their first Commonwealth Games appearance. For this outstanding performance here, he was awarded with the Arjuna Award. He broke the previous national record and set a new one while competing in the Doha Diamond League with a throw of 87.43 meters.

The 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games were his first time competing at the Asian Games. He was selected as the flag-bearer for these games on account of his brilliant performance that year, especially his 2018 Commonwealth Games success. He won India her first gold medal in the javelin throw category in the Asian Games and also broke the national record he himself had set with a winning throw of 88.06 meters. In March 2021 at the Indian Grand Prix, he again broke his record with a marginally higher 88.07 meters.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics were Neeraj Chopra’s first ever Olympic Games. He won the gold medal in the finals held on the 7th of August with a winning throw of 87.58 meters and created history. He is the second Indian athlete to win an individual gold medal at the Olympics and the first Indian athlete to win an Olympic gold medal in the discipline of athletics.

Subedar Neeraj Chopra VSM with his Tokyo 2020 Gold Olympic medal
Subedar Neeraj Chopra VSM with his Tokyo 2020 Gold Olympic medal

Saina Nehwal: India’s Badminton Queen

Introduction and Early Life

Saina Nehwal is undoubtedly India’s greatest badminton player and one of India’s most iconic sports personalities. Saina was born on the 17th of March 1990 in Hisar, Haryana. Saina’s mother was a state-level badminton player while her father used to play badminton at the university-level. Saina originally took up badminton as a child due to loneliness. She also wanted to fulfil her mother’s dream of playing badminton at a national level. She trained at Pullela Gopichand’s Gopichand Badminton Academy, then trained at Prakash Padukone’s Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy, before returning to the Gopichand Badminton Academy. Saina also holds a brown belt in Karate.

Saina with her parents
Saina with her parents

Achievements

Saina is a former World No. 1 player, with her being declared the World No. 1 female badminton player on the 2nd of April, 2015. This made her the only female Indian and second Indian overall to achieve this. She is currently the World No. 19. She is the only Indian to win at least one medal in all of the major existing BWF individual events- the Olympics, the BWF World Championships, the BWF Junior World Championships- at any point of time. She is the first Indian badminton player to win an Olympic medal and advance to the BWF World Championship finals. She is also the only Indian badminton player to win the BWF World Junior Championship. In May 2006, with her winning the Philippines Open, Saina became the first Indian woman and youngest Asian to win a 4-star badminton tournament. She is the first Indian to win a Super Series title. Saina is also the first Indian badminton player to win two gold singles medals at the Commonwealth Games, with her wins in the 2010 and 2018 Games. She captained the Indian team and contributed majorly to getting India a bronze medal in the 2014 Thomas and Uber Cup, which was also the country’s first major BWF event team medal.

In 2008, she received the Most Promising Player of the Year (2008) award from the Badminton World Federation. She was a recipient of the Arjuna award in 2009 and the Padma Shri in 2010. She also was the recipient of the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna that year. In 2016, she was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India’s second highest civilian honour.

Saina being awarded the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna
Saina being awarded the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna
Saina being awarded the Padma Bhushan
Saina being awarded the Padma Bhushan

Career Highlights

Saina has played a total of 640 singles matches till date, and has won 440 of them. She has won 4 Super Series Premier events, 7 Super Series events, 8 Grand Prix Gold events and 1 Grand Prix title. In the 2012 London Olympic Games, she won the bronze medal. She has won 2 gold medals at the Commonwealth Games, in the years 2010 and 2018. She won a bronze medal in the 2018 Asian Games. In the BWF World Championship, she won a silver medal in 2015 and a bronze medal in 2017. Saina has won 3 bronze medals in the Asian Championships in the years 2010, 2016 and 2018. At the national level, Saina is a 13-timw winner of the National Badminton Championships.

Saina with her Olympic bronze medal
Saina with her Olympic bronze medal

Major Dhyan Chand: The Magician of Hockey

On the 6th of August 2021, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi tweeted that the Government of India would be renaming India’s highest sporting honour from the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna to the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna. This announcement came on the heels on the Men’s Indian Hockey team winning the bronze medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. This is significant due to the greatness and impact Major Dhyan Chand left on the sport especially in India. Nicknamed The Wizard and The Magician of Hockey, he was renowned worldwide for his superior skills and extraordinary ball control skills.

Early life

Major Dhyan Chand was born on the 29th of August 1905 in Allahabad in what was then known as the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh in British-India. His father was a member of the British Indian Army. Major Dhyan Chand grew up with hockey right from his birth; his father used to play hockey for the Army. However, apart from playing casual games of hockey with his friends, according to Major Dhyan Chand, he did not have any serious interest in hockey. He joined the British Indian Army on his 17th birthday.

Major Career Achievements

Major Dhyan Chand started playing hockey competitively after joining the British Indian Army. Initially he played only tournaments within the army. His first international competition was in a tour against New Zealand. He was selected to be a part of the Indian hockey team for the 1928 Amsterdam Olympic Games. Despite it being the debut Games for the hockey team, they dominated it and ended up winning the gold medal. Major Dhyan Chand was the top-scorer in the whole tournament. This was the Games which lead to his nickname The Magician of Hockey. In the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, he was once again a part of the hockey team as they once again won the gold. In 1934, he was appointed as the captain of the national team. In the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Major Dhyan Chand captained the team into winning its third consecutive gold medal.

Post-Retirement

Major Dhyan Chand continued playing hockey even after retiring from the competitive field. He used to regularly teach hockey in coaching camps at Mount Abu in Rajasthan. He was appointed to the position of Chief Hockey Coach at the Patiala branch of the National Institute of Sports and had a tenure of many years there. He passed away on the 3rd of December 1979.

Legacy

The Government of India declared his birthday, the 29th of August as National Sports Day. It is also the day when sports-related awards are conferred. India’s highest award for a lifetime achievement in sports was named the Dhyan Chand Award. The National Stadium in Delhi, a field hockey stadium, was renamed as the Dhyan Chand National Stadium. On the 6th of August 2021, India’s highest sporting award, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna was renamed to the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna in highlight of the contribution and impact Major Dhyan Chand left on hockey both nationally as well as internationally.

PV Sindhu: India’s Current Face of Badminton

Early Life

Pusarla Venkata Sindhu (PV Sindhu) was born on the 5th of July, 1995 in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. Coincidentally, both her parents were professional volleyball players who have played at the national level. In 2001, Indian male badminton player Pullela Gopichand won the All-England Open Badminton Championship. This piqued the interest of a young Sindhu, who became interested in the discipline of badminton. She started playing badminton when she was 8 years old. She initially trained at the Indian Railway Institute of Signal Engineering and Telecommunication, and later joined Pullela Gopichand’s Gopichand Badminton Academy.

Career

Sindhu starting playing badminton competitively at a tender age. She was successful right from a young age. When competing in the under-10 years category, she won the 5th Servo All India ranking championship in both the singles as well as doubles categories. While competing in the under-13 years category, she won the singles and doubles title at multiple Indian badminton competitions. In the under-14 years category, in the 51st National Games, Sindhu won a team gold medal.

Sindhu started playing internationally at the age of 14. She won the bronze medal at the 2009 Sub-Junior Asian Badminton Championships. In July 2012, she won the Asian Junior Championships. She won her first Grand Prix Gold title in 2103 by winning the Malaysia Masters. In the same year, the became the second Indian to win a medal in the singles category at the Badminton World Championships. She also won the Macau Open Grand Prix Gold. In 2014, she won the bronze medal at the Asian Championships and the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. She won another bronze medal in the 2014 BWF World Badminton Championships. In 2016, she won the silver medal in the Rio Olympics and created history as the youngest and first female Indian athlete to win a silver Olympic medal. She won the silver medal in the 2017 World Championships. In 2018, she became the only Indian to win the BWF World Tour Finals and won India her first silver singles medal at the 2108 Asian Games. In 2019, she became the first Indian to win a gold medal at the World Championships. In the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, she won the bronze medal.  

PV Sindhu winning the silver medal at the Rio Olympics
PV Sindhu winning the silver medal at the Rio Olympics
 PV Sindhu winning the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics
PV Sindhu winning the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics

Achievements

Sindhu is the current World No. 7, having reached the rank of World No. 2 in 2017. She is the first Indian to win and become the World Badminton Championship, as well as the first Indian woman to reach an Olympic Final with her competition in the finals at the 2016 Rio Olympics. With her podium finish in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, she now also holds the record of being the first Indian woman to win two medals at the Olympics. She is the second Indian athlete individually to win two consecutive Olympic medals. She is the second woman worldwide to win either five or more medals at the Badminton World Championships. In 2013, she was awarded the Arjuna Award. In 2015, Sindhu was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian award. 2016, she received the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna (formerly known as the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna), India’s highest sporting honour. In 2020, she was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian award. In 2018 and 2019, Sindhu was a part of Forbes’ list of the Highest-Paid Female Athletes. On the 8th of March 2020, she was declared as the BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year.

Sindhu being awarded the  Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna
Sindhu being awarded the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna

Why MS Dhoni is greatest of all time!

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, undoubtedly one of the world’s greatest cricketers and one of the world’s best captains, retired from cricket last year on Independence day (Aug 15). But tales of his adventures are still on the tongue of every cricket lover. He achieved everything that every cricketer dreams in his 16-year career. Apart from being a great wicketkeeper, his captaincy was also excellent. Dhoni played 538 matches for India in his career, in which he scored 17,266 runs with the help of 16 centuries.

‘Mahi’, as Mahendra Singh Dhoni is popularly known, was born on 7th July, 1981 to Pan Singh and Devaki Dev at Ranchi in Bihar (now Jharkhand). Dhoni’s parents had moved to Ranchi from Uttarakhand where his father works in a junior management position in Mecon. He has a sister and a brother.

Lets read why MS Dhoni is the greatest Indian cricketer of all time.

Major ICC Trophies as Captain

MS Dhoni is the only captain in the history of Cricket to win all ICC trophies. Under his captaincy, India won the 2007 ICC World T20, the 2010 and 2016 Asia Cups, the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup and the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy.

He’s the best captain we’ve had

No cricket captain in the past has been as successful as Dhoni across all formats of cricket. As of today, his captaincy boasts of two world titles in 50-over ODI cricket, one world title in the T20 format besides Champions League and IPL, where he holds two titles in each format. If this isn’t enough for you, remember that it was under Dhoni’s captainship that put us on top of ICC Test Cricket rankings.

He is India’s highest impact ODI player

According to ‘Impactindex’, MS Dhoni is India’s most high impact ODI cricket player, followed by Kapil Dev and Sachin Tendulkar. Purely as a batsman, he stands behind Sachin and Virat. But it’s his varied skill-set that makes him the most impactful player of the lot.

He created the ‘Helicopter shot’

Former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s helicopter shot has been emulated a number of times by fans and his teammates as well, whether in the nets or during the match. Dhoni’s helicopter shot became a rage in mid 2000s when he first played during his long hair days. Dhoni’s style and flamboyance gave that shot its name and made it famous more than any other cricketer’s signature shot.

The world’s greatest workload

From 2008 to 2014, Dhoni was the captain-cum-wicket-keeper-cum-attacking-batsman of the Test, ODI, T20 teams of India, whilst leading the IPL team Chennai Super Kings. That’s around 300 matches for India and 100 for CSK. Many international players have wilted with just half of this workload and chosen to retire early in the face of such pressure.

World’s greatest wicket-keeper

An oft-overlooked fact: MS Dhoni has a record of 700 international catches plus stumpings in the three formats and no other Indian wicket-keeper comes close. He is always alert and outwits the batsman by hitting the stumps when he sees a player out of the crease – especially after he has taken a spectacular catch and the umpire doesn’t yield!

Team India’s Phoenix

But more than mere records, it is his influence on Indian cricket that will outlive him. His cool-as-a-cucumber attitude has rubbed off on his team. Ganguly’s aggression followed by Dhoni’s “no fear cricket” (in the words of Aussie legend Ian Chappell) have transformed Indian cricket. When we were eliminated in the 2007 ODI WC, Dhoni took us out of the gloom and won us the T20 WC, which arguably ushered in the T20 revolution. In the 2007 Tests at Lord’s too we were on the verge of losing and Dhoni’s 76 off 159 helped us draw the match with one wicket to spare. We won the series and subsequently became Test No 1. Dhoni is the lone Indian captain who made winning a habit. After the debacle of 0-8, the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy and the 4-0 Australia whitewash (which featured his record double century) he brought back Team India’s winning streak after a dark cricketing period. When the opposition had figured out his attacking game, he transformed it to return to the reckoning. They threw stones at his house (not once, but twice), badgered him as captain, dragged him to court over a magazine cover, but he came out of every storm – dignified and unhurt. Dhoni is the most complex cricketer in the world as also the most thrilling – and inevitably the greatest!

Spectacular things that Legendary Cricketers say about MS Dhoni:

“Dhoni Is The Best Captain I Have Played Under.”

Sachin Tendulkar

“Dhoni Is My Hero. We talk a lot about Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, But this boy has as much talent as anyone in the game.”

Kapil Dev

“I Would Go To War With Dhoni By My Side.”

Gary Kirsten

“As Far As One-Day Cricket Is Concerned, Dhoni Is One Of The Greatest Captains Of All Times”

Sourav Ganguly

“I Am Really Gifted To Play Under The Leadership Of MS Dhoni.”

Michael Hussy

“I will pay to watch MS Dhoni Bat. Dhoni is not the next Gilchrist. He’s the first MS Dhoni.”

Adam Gilchrist

“Need A Six In Pressure Situation? Call MS DHONI.”

Ramiz Raja

“If Dhoni plays till the end, one thing is for sure. He will make his team Win.”

Harsha Bhogle

“If 15 Runs Are Needed Off The Last 6 Balls, Pressure Is On The Bowler & Not On MS Dhoni”

Ian Bishop

You can not describe him or cover all his achievements through the words.. He is a Living Legend and you know what is Dhoni’s biggest achievement that even if 37 runs in 6 balls were needed, people used to say “Dhoni Sambhal Lega Yaar!”.

Mary Kom: The Living Legend

Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom, popularly known as Mary Kom, is a Manipuri boxer and undoubtedly India’s most and one of the world’s most accomplished female boxers in modern times. Her various accomplishments and her boxing prowess have given her the nickname of ‘Magnificent Mary’, a nickname very fitting for her.

Mary was born in Kangathei village, Moirang Lamkhai in the Churachandpur district of Manipur on the 24th of November, 1982. She hails from a family of farmers and is the eldest of three children; with her having a younger brother and a sister. Throughout her school years, Mary extensively took part in athletics and played many sports; with a special interest in javelin and running. All this changed in 1998. Her fellow statesman, Dingko Singh had just returned from the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games with a Gold medal. Mary, like many other Manipuri youth was inspired by him and decided to give boxing a try. She moved to Imphal and started serious boxing training under the then Manipur State Boxing Coach, M. Narjit Singh. She kept her boxing training a secret from her family, as her father previously had voiced his concern that while boxing her face may get spoiled, thereby ruining her chances of marriage. In the year 2000, she won the state boxing championship, as a result of which she was featured in the newspaper. This led to her family finding out about her career as a boxer. This, along with her love for boxing caused her father to give her his whole hearted support.

Mary Kom’s career is filled with numerous accomplishments, medals and records. Mary’s major achievements and records are:

  • The only female to win the World Amateur Boxing Championship six times
  • The only female boxer to have won a medal in all the first seven World Championships
  • The only boxer, either male or female, to win eight medals at the World Championships
  • The world’s No. 1 female light-flyweight by the International Boxing Association (amateur) [AIBA]
  • The only boxer to win the Asian Amateur Boxing Championship 6 times
  • The only female Indian boxer who qualified for the 2012 London Olympics
  • The first Indian female boxer to win a gold medal at the Asian Games (2014 Incheon Games)
  • The first female Indian boxer to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games (2018 Gold Coast Games)

Mary Kom received a Padma Shri in 2006, and a Padma Bhushan in 2013. On 25th April 2016, she was appointed as a member of the Rajya Sabha. In March 2017, she was appointed by the Indian Ministry of Youth and Sports as a national observer for boxing. On the 11th of December 2018, the Government of Manipur bestowed upon her the title of ‘Meethoi Leima’ (exceptional lady). She was awarded the Padma Shri in 2006 and the Padma Bhushan in 2013. On the 25th of January 2020, Mary Kom was awarded with the Padma Vibhushan. She was declared as a female representative of boxing’s athlete ambassadors’ group for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.  

Mirabai Chanu: India’s Newest Olympic Medalist

On the 24th of July, 2021, history was made at the Tokyo International Forum. Saikhom Mirabai Chanu just won India her first medal in the ongoing 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the category of Weightlifting in Women’s 49 kg by claiming the silver medal and earning India it’s highest and second medal in weightlifting after Karnam Malleswari’s bronze medal in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Saikhom Mirabai Chanu was born on the 8th of August, 1994 at Nongpok Kakching. It is a village around 30 kms to the east of Imphal, the capital city of Manipur. She belongs to the Meitei, an ethnic group of people who are native of Manipur. Her family consists of her parents and five other siblings; three sisters and two brothers. Her father is a government employee contracted with the publics work department, while her mother sells samosas. Out of all their children, Mirabai was the only child who decided to pursue sports as a profession. Her athletic prowess came to light in her early childhood. According to her mother, a young Mirabai, then in class 6 had told her that she would one day play in the Khuman Lampak Stadium While Mirabai initially wanted to pursue archery, she was unable to do so due to her lack of height (Mirabai Chanu is 4”11). Her weightlifting prowess was known since her early childhood, as a twelve-year-old Mirabai had no difficulty in lifting and carrying weights which even her elder brother had difficulty in trying to pick up. This weightlifting prowess of her inspired her to take up the sport of weightlifting.

Mirabai Chanu with her family
Mirabai Chanu with her family

Mirabai’s first major win in her career as a weightlifter came in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. She competed in the Women’s 48 kg category and won the silver medal. While Mirabai qualified for and competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics, she was unsuccessful in her endeavor. However, she made a stunning comeback from that defeat the next year in the 2017 World Weightlifting Championships in the Women’s 48 kg category. She won two medals: Gold and Silver. Mirabai won Gold by lifting 109 kg in Clean and Jerk and Silver by lifting 85 kg in Snatch. Her total lifting of lifting 194 kg in total created a record.

Mirabai winning Gold at the  2017 World Weightlifting Championships
Mirabai winning Gold at the 2017 World Weightlifting Championships

In the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Mirabai won the first medal with a Gold medal by lifting a total of 196 kg; 110 kg in Clean and Jerk and 85 kg in Snatch. This set a new record for the Commonwealth Games in her weight category. In the 2019 World Weightlifting Championship, Mirabai set a new national record in Women’s 49 kg by lifting a total of 201 kg (87 kg Snatch and 114 kg Clean and Jerk). On the 17th of April 2021, at the 2020 Asian Weightlifting Championship, she set a new world record for Clean and Jerk by lifting 119 kg. She won a bronze medal here. By June 2021, she was second in the rankings for Women’s 49 kg and was the only Indian weightlifter who qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Mirabai's Gold medal at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games
Mirabai’s Gold medal at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games

On the 24th of July 2021, Mirabai won the Silver medal in the Women’s 49 kg category by lifting 202 kg and created history. She succeeded Karnam Malleswari as the second Indian woman weightlifter to win an Olympic medal. Mirabai holds the honor of winning the highest medal in the weightlifting category in the Olympics that India has ever won. She also set a new Olympic record in the Clean and Jerk category by lifting 115 kg.

Mirabai's historical Silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Mirabai’s historical Silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Mirabai has stated that her triumph at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is a ‘dream come true’ for her.

Top social media marketing blogs

The world of Social Media is probably responsible for more innovation in digital marketing over the past 5 to 10 years than nearly any other discipline. From ephemeral story based content to live video to all the things being done with data for more personalized marketing, staying in top of what’s real vs. the hype in marketing is increasingly difficult.

Top help marketers find great sources of marketing advice, we’ve curated the BIGLIST of marketing blogs and more recently a marketing blogs from martech companies. Adding to that curation effort and our own solid social media marketing advice is today’s list of social media marketing blogs.

This list focuses in on blogs covering all aspects of social media marketing including the usual suspects of platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn as well as newer platforms like TikTok. From trends to strategies to tactics to analytics, this group of blogs about social media and marketing is a great mix of big names, publications, platforms and a few names that are hopefully new to you.

1. Adweek Social Pro Daily @adweek
Platform news, industry trends and plenty of brand examples.
Our favorite post: Social Networks Finally Bypassed Print Newspapers as a Primary Source of News

2. Andrea Vahl Blog @AndreaVahl
Everything you wanted to know about Facebook advertising plus a glimpse of “Grandma Mary”.
Our favorite post: Facebook Video Ads – What’s Working Now

3. Awario Blog @AwarioApp
Social media monitoring, selling, research and influencer marketing advice.
Our favorite post: 10 of the best social media marketing tools for 2019

4. Brian Solis @briansolis
One of the true pioneering thought leaders on social media that continues to offer strategic insights – including how to temper social media use for a more creative, productive and happy life ala Lifescale.
Our favorite post: The Past, Present And Future Of Social Media – How We Fell To The Dark Side And Why The Force Is With Us

5. Brand24 Blog @brand24
Social listening, marketing and industry news plus best practices on everything from hashtags to social influencers.
Our favorite post: A Complete Guide to Social Media Analysis

6. CinchShare Blog @CinchShare
Social Media Marketing tips for small business including Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and blogging advice.
Our favorite post: Grow your team on Facebook by doing these 3 things

7. Digimind Blog @digimindci
Social insight driven marketing advice, competitive social intelligence tips and soup to nuts social media campaign direction for agencies.
Our favorite post: Optimize Your Content Marketing Strategy in 13 Steps with Social Media Intelligence

8. DreamGrow Blog @dreamgrow
Social Media Marketing advice plus curated lists of resources.
Our favorite post: How To Integrate Social Media With eCommerce in 2019

9. Facebook Business Blog @facebook
Official blog from Facebook on advertising news, best practices and thought leadership.
Our favorite post: Turn Interested Shoppers Into Buyers with a Guided Shopping Experience in Messenger

10. Falcon Insights Hub @falconio
Social Media Marketing strategy, tactics and ROI measurement plus platform specific best practices.
Our favorite post: 5 Social Media Trends to Watch in 2019

11. Gary Vaynerchuk Blog @garyvee
The content machine that is Garyvee covers social media marketing thought leadership, trends, news and practical advice for specific social networks.
Our favorite post: 5 LinkedIn Marketing Strategies for 2019

12. Gleam Blog @gleamapp
A lot of how to social media marketing content, tips on using Gleam apps and advice on social contests, giveaways, coupons and product hunts.
Our favorite post: Stop Buying Likes: 25+ Tips to Drive Real Engagement on Facebook

13. Grow @markwschaefer
Mark Schaefer’s blog on the intersection of marketing, technology and humanity featuring provocative insights on industry trends, featured examples of social media and marketing in action and practical advice.
Our favorite post: What Is Your Social Media Marketing Purpose? (If You Don’t Know, This Will Help)

14. Hopper HQ Blog @hopper_hq
All things Instagram marketing ranging from trends to tips and a bit of advice on working with social influencers too.
Our favorite post: How to Measure B2B Social Media Marketing Success

15. Hot in Social Media @hotinsm
Social platform news and tips covering the gamut of social media marketing topics plus curated advice from industry experts.
Our favorite post: How to Use TikTok Like a PRO: Actionable Tips for Marketers

16. Iconosquare Blog @iconosquare
Focused information on marketing with Facebook and Instagram.
Our favorite post: Instagram Marketing Strategy: Your A-Z Guide

17. Instagram Business Blog @instagram
Official blog from Instagram sharing platform updates, features advertising advice.
Our favorite post: Creative Secrets of Instagram Stories

18. Jeff Bullas Blog @jeffbullas
Social Media Marketing best practices from Jeff and guest contributors.
Our favorite post: 9 Insider Tips For Increasing Your LinkedIn Leads

19. Jon Loomer Blog @jonloomer
This blog is Facebook marketing central – everything you ever wanted to know.
Our favorite post: How to Edit a Facebook Ad and Retain Social Proof

20. Karen’s PR & Social Media Blog @kfreberg
Dr. Karen Freberg’s take on social media marketing, PR and crisis communications.
Our favorite post: Super Bowl 2019: Trends & Takeaways from a Social Media Professor

21. Katie Lance Blog @katielance
Great example of a personal brand showcasing social media marketing advice with a slant towards the real estate audience.
Our favorite post: How to Attract Your Dream Client Through Social Media and Storytelling

22. Keyhole Blog @keyholeco
Recent attention to a variety of social media marketing tools as well as practical advice for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and hashtag marketing.
Our favorite post: Hashtags: A Beginner’s Guide and How to Use them Effectively – Keyhole

23. Later Blog @latermedia
Instagram Marketing strategy, tips, tools, resources and guides.
Our favorite post: Real or Fake: 5 Instagram Algorithm Rumors Explained

24. LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog @linkedinmktg
Official blog from Linkedin offering marketing thought leadership, industry trends, news and practical advice on how to make the most of marketing and advertising on LinkedIn. (client)
Our favorite post: 10 Content Ideas for your LinkedIn Page

25. Louise Myers Visual Social Media Blog @Louise_Myers
Practice visual social media marketing tips for Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest plus advice on blogging.
Our favorite post: How to Boost Your Social Media Strategy for 2019

26. Madalyn Sklar Blog @MadalynSklar
Literally everything you would ever want to know about building and engaging a community on Twitter with plenty of attention towards tools.
Our favorite post: How to Grow Your Twitter Community: 7 Essential Tips

27. Meltwater Blog: Social Media @MeltwaterSocial
Social Media thought leadership, practical advice and featured brand social media examples.
Our favorite post: Social Sidekick: Your Monthly Guide to Social Holidays, Themes, and Noteworthy Events

28. NetBase Blog @NetBase
Advice on social media listening, analytics and practical advice plus applications for social intelligence.
Our favorite post: Social Media Monitoring vs Social Listening – Yes, There’s a Difference!

29. Planoly Blog @planoly
Stay on top of Instagram and IG Marketing with practical tips and examples.
Our favorite post: How to Stay Motivated with Your Blog and Instagram

30. Problogger @problogger
Dedicated to the art and science of blogging and no one tells that story better than Darren Rowse.
Our favorite post: How to Start a Blog When You’re Not an Expert: 11 Ways to Make it Work

31. Quintly @quintly
Social Media Marketing research and analysis, best practices, trends and news about the platform.
Our favorite post: Instagram Study: We analyzed 9 million posts and here’s what we’ve learned

32. Snapchat for Business @snapchat
Official blog from Snapchat featuring the latest launches, announcements, and insights.
Our favorite post: CPG on Snapchat: Why Gen Z and millennials make all the difference

33. Socialnomics @equalman
Erik Qualman’s long running thought leadership blog on social media and marketing.
Our favorite post: 22 Social Media Tips From The Pros To Skyrocket Your 2019 ROI

34. Social Insider Blog @socialinsiderio
A cornucopia of how to articles on social media marketing plus a fun series of interviews with industry experts called Socialinsider Insta’rviews.
Our favorite post: The Most Impactful Social Media Trend That Businesses Should Integrate It In 2019

35. Social Media Examiner @SMExaminer
Probably the most popular blog about social media marketing from Mike Stelzner and team that also run the Social Media Marketing World conference.
Our favorite post: 10 Metrics to Track When Analyzing Your Social Media Marketing

36. Social Media Explorer @smxplorer
An original social media marketing blog covering the gamut of social media topics including tips, tools, news, and case studies.
Our favorite post: Up And Coming Social Media Trends Driven By Millennials And Generation Z

37. Social Media Lab @agorapulse
A special project from the folks at Agorapulse highlighting their investment of over $15k per month to help “Crack the Code” of social media and then report those results to readers.
Our favorite post: LinkedIn Post Length: Does Data Support the Idea that Longer is Better?

38. Social Media Today @socialmedia2day
A community blog offering a comprehensive view of social media marketing including updates to social platforms, trends, strategy and tactics.
Our favorite post: Social Media Calls to Action: 19 Words & Phrases to Generate More Engagement

39. Social Media Week News & Insights @socialmediaweek
Regular updates on the famous Social Media Week events in New York and Los Angeles plus coverage of social media technologies and marketing tactics.
Our favorite post: Boost Your Instagram Stories Game for 2019 With These 10 Practices

40. Social Report Blog @thesocialreport
A collection of practical posts about marketing on all of the major social networks plus trends and examples.
Our favorite post: 10 Top Social Media Scheduling Tools to Save Time in 2019

41. Social Sorted @SociallySorted
Donna Mortiz offers awesome monthly list posts of social media marketing ideas and in between shares visual and video marketing advice for social media channels.
Our favorite post: 60+ April Social Media Ideas – Videos, GIFs and more!

42. Spiderworking @Spiderworking
Amanda Webb covers social platform updates, examples and practical advice about small business social and content marketing.
Our favorite post: Relationship Marketing With Jessika Phillips, Pots Of Gold And LinkedIn Networking

43. Sue B Zimmerman @SueBZimmerman
The guru of Instagram marketing.
Our favorite post: How To Grow Instagram Followers in 2019

44. The Social Media Hat @SocialMediaHats
Mike Allton’s blog with practical advice about blogging, social media, SEO and email marketing.
Our favorite post: How to Create 26 Pieces Of Content From A Facebook Live

45. Talkwalker Blog @Talkwalker
Social Media Marketing and analytics blog with an emphasis on social monitoring and data applications.
Our favorite post: Social media trends that will impact 2019

46. Twitter Marketing Blog @Twitter
Official blog from Twitter about product news, marketing and advertising best practices and research.
Our favorite post: 10 ways marketing changed with Twitter

47. Unmetric Blog @unmetric
Social Media Marketing strategy, industry trends, and how to articles focused on brands.
Our favorite post: Brands vie for the throne in the game of social media marketing

One trend I’ve noticed is that many individuals that have really made a name for themselves as trusted voices in the social media space during the formative years of the industry simply are not blogging as much or have diversified into other areas of marketing. At the same time, a steady drumbeat of social media marketing advice can be found amongst a smaller number of highly focused industry blogs and companies serving the social media marketing industry.

Speaking of the social media marketing industry, you may have noticed some well known social media marketing technology brands are not on the above list. That’s because we’ve already included them in the martech list, but they certainly belong in this collection, so here they are:

Olympic games

International Olympics Day is observed on June 23 per annum to celebrate sports and health. The day aims at promoting sports and spreads the message of constructing sports as a vital part of life. The creation of the modern-day Olympic Games is inspired by the traditional Olympic Games held in Olympia, Greece. In 1894, the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD, Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and laid the inspiration for the Olympic Games. Olympic games have a history of about twenty hundred years. There were first played near mount Olympus in Greece in 778 B.C. in honor of the Greek god Zeus. The Olympic Games were revived in 1894 by the effort of a French nobleman, Pierre-de-Coubertin. Olympics were held in (Greece) in 1894. From then onwards the modern Olympic games are being held once every four years. There was a break, however, during the period of world war-1 and world war-2. The 20th Olympics were held in 1972 in Germany. Later Olympics were held in Montreal, Moscow, Los angles, Seoul and Barcelona. The 1996 Olympics were held in Atlanta. The  2000 Olympics had held in Sydney, Australia. In 1947, Doctor Gruss, a world Olympic member in Czechoslovakia, presented a report within the 41st Session of the International Olympic Committee in Stockholm and proposed to look at every day to celebrate Olympic Day. One year later in 1948, the organizing committee finally decided on June 23 because of the International Olympic Day to honor the International Olympic Committee’s foundation at the Sorbonne, Paris. The first Olympic Day was celebrated within the year 1948. The day was proposed to push the Olympic idea and encourage more and more participation within the games.
World Olympic Day of 2021: What is the Significance & Theme of that day?
The day is well known to encourage more people to participate in the Olympic Games and spread awareness about the event and promote the Olympic Movement. The main concept is to move, learn and discover concerning no age, sports background, or sporting ability. In some countries, the event is incorporated into the varsity curriculum, while many NOCs have included concerts and exhibitions as an element of the Olympic day in recent years. Recent NOC activities also included meetings for youngsters and kids with top athletes making it easier for people to become a part of Olympic Day. The theme for this year is to remain healthy, stay strong, stay active with the OlympicDay workout on 23 June.

Olympic games attract all the athletes from different parts of the countries, all over the world. It shows the symbol of international friendship and brotherhood. The Olympic symbol consists of 5 rings or circles linked together. The five rings represent five different continents –Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. The linking represents unity. The five rings are of different colors. They are blue, yellow, black, green, and red. The torch is first lit at Olympus in Greece and then taken to the place of meeting by relay runners.

In modern times, the winners are awarded medals and certificates with recognition for those who won first, are awarded gold medals. Those who second and third are awarded silver medals and bronze medals. Competitions are held generally in the following games and sports:

(1)Archery, (2) athletics, (3) badminton, (4) baseball, (5) basketball, (6) boxing (7) canoeing, (8) cycling(9) equestrian sports, (10) fencing, (11) football, (12) gymnastics, (13) handball,  (14) hockey, (15) judo, (16) modern pentathlon, (17) rowing, (18) shooting, (19) swimming, (20) table tennis, (21) tennis, (22) volleyball, (23) weightlifting, (24) wrestling and yachting.

Looking Back on Five Great Cricketers of a Bygone Age

With the first final of the World Test Championship just around the corner, let us look at some of the less remembered greats of the game.

George Headley

For a common cricket follower of today – Lara, Viv Richards, Chanderpaul, Haynes – are the poster boys of legendary West Indian batsmanship. To the fan of the game before World War II, however, it’ll always be George Headley. The record holder for the test score by a West Indies batsman was born at Panama on May 30, 1909. With none to coach him during his early days, he taught himself the aspects of the game. Known for his impeccable timing, he made a name for himself during the Australian tour of 1930/31. The experts of the day were astonished at his timing and placement. In addition to his mastery of batsmanship, he was also a part time bowler and a great fielder. It won’t be further from truth to say that he the beginning of what was to come in the history of West Indies cricket.

Wally Hammond


The great legend of English cricket was born at Dover in the year 1903. He began playing cricket at the age of 8. As was not uncommon in those days, he was a yet another example of an autodidact. After witnessing some of his performance for his county team, the watchers were left with no doubt regarding his talent and went back home with their mind filled with expectations. His career did justify the great expectations. Loved for his aggressive and stylish batting, he was a significant contributor to his team’s performances. His numbers at the end of his career were impressive – 50,511 first class runs at an average of 56.10 with 167 centuries. He was overshadowed by the greatness of Sir Don Bradman during his career.

Douglas Jardine

The former captain of England test cricket team is remembered by history for reasons other than his batsmanship. Douglas Jardine was born at Bombay in 1900 and was coached by his father, also a cricketer, during his early days. Though he impressed with fine batting performances in the Australian tour of 1928/29, it is for his role as a captain in the tour four years later that the Australians remember him. Armed with the pace of H Larwood and Voce, he countered the threat of an intimidating Australian batting order by targetting their body with bouncers. This series is known as the bodyline series for this reason. This tactic was not well received by the Australian crowd and the cricket board. He was unperturbed by the angry response of the crowd and the board. He was called as “The Iron Duke” for his rock like character.

Victor Trumper

Regarded as a great batsman by his contemporaries, but now forgotten by many in the cricket world, Victor Trumper was the first of many great cricketing batters from Australia. The early period of cricket history is notorious for its terrible pitches. It was on these tracks Trumper astonished many with his batting performances. He was the first to score a hundred before lunch. His mates, who marvelled at his batting on sticky wickets, opined that he was worth 3 wickets. He was also known for his big hitting. Also an outstanding fielder to boot, he was a significant part of the team. Victor Trumper died at a young age of 37.

Palwankar Baloo

Palwankar Baloo, the first Indian Dalit cricketer, was also a great slow bowler. He is regarded as the first great of Indian cricket. He rose through the ranks from doing ground duties and bowling in the nets at a club to the leader of the attack of whichever team he represented. On his first tour to England, he picked over 200 wickets at an incredible average of 13 apiece. Hailing from a low caste family, his stuggles were more off the field than on the field. He conquered these inequalities through his skill in the game. He later on became a politician to fight for the rights of the depressed. Another interesting highlight of his life was that he contested against Dr. B. R. Ambedkar in an election and lost it by over 2000 votes. He was a role model for the depressed classes during his time. His contributions as a cricketer and a politician will be remembered for a long time to come.

India hockey great and Olympic medalist Michael Kindo dies at 73

Former India hockey player, an Olympic medalist and World Cup-winner, Michael Kindo passed away on December 31 due to age-related complications.

  • Former India hockey player Michael Kindo passed away at 73 on 31/12/20 , Thursday.
  • Michael Kindo was part of the 1975 hockey team that won the World Cup in Malaysia
  • Kindo was also part of the 1972 bronze-medal winning hockey team in Munich

India hockey legend Micheal Kindo passed away aged 73 on December 31 in Rourkela, Odisha after a prolonged illness. Kindo was part of the 1972 bronze medal-winning Indian Olympic team in Munich.

Michael Kindo, who played as a full-back was also part of the 1975 hockey team that won the World Cup in Kuala Lumpur. Kindo was part of the squad that defeated Pakistan in the final to win its maiden World Cup gold medal.

According to his family members, Kindo was suffering from age-related complications and breathed his last at 3:30 pm IST on Thursday. Kindo is survived by his wife and two daughters.

Hockey India and Odisha Sports took to social media on Thursday to condole the death of Michael Kindo, who was also the first tribal to don India colours at the highest level in hockey.

We are deeply saddened by the demise of our former hockey player and 1975 World Cup winner, Michael Kindo. We send out our heartfelt condolences to his family,” Hockey India wrote.

@TheHockeyIndia, 👈 tag at Twitter.

CAPTAIN COOL SIGNING OFF – part 2

His life is indeed the desi version of the ‘American Dream’ or it’d be apter to call it the ‘Indian Dream.’ Growing up in a cricket fanatic country like ours, almost every other person would’ve wanted to be a cricketer. The ones that get there are not by luck, but by sheer sacrifice, hard-work and belief in one’s abilities.

Against all odds!

In the coming years the future of the Indian cricket is uncertain, But what’s certain is that there will never be a replacement for this Wk batsman from Ranchi.

His stand apart from others, is what dragged him closest to us. From his hairstyles over the years to his strategies, for a well orchestrated win. Putting the luck factor on the back seat.

This fierce finisher’s batting pattern made him land milestones, like over 10,000 runs in the limited overs format. Being the explosive batsman he is, Dhoni valued singles and doubles more; rotating the strike and making the scoreboard ticking. His humongous shots are often preyed upon weaker balls from the opposition.

A lesson that smaller steps can conquer mammoth scores. Teaches us that consistency is key.

MSD’s focus for the game will never be paralleled.

He stood by his principles and never let anything shake him. He did the unthinkable, and the success was certain.

He was a visionary above all, which explains how coolly he shook the wrath of the fans when he benched the legends, to pave the way for the youngsters.

This helped the lad to bag all the golds for the nation. From winning the ‘07 T20 WC within a few years after being assigned captain, to bagging the’13 WC and the champions trophy and also bagging the World number 1 rankings in the tests.

He’s my hero,” said Kapil Dev. One WC winning captain, legend, to another, what better credentials does Dhoni need to be the best.

Dhoni broke into the side because of his perseverance and grit.

Dhoni is a natural leader. He leads by example and has inspired people on the field and beyond it. His calmness and composure singing multitudes of life lessons to adhere to.

Most younger players look upto him for his in-depth knowledge and ability to read the game like a wizard.

Virat even after taking over the captaincy stated that ‘Dhoni will always be his captain.’

It’s no new news that Dhoni has a great eye for things, if put on the right chair, captain cool might end up making Indian cricket a force to reckon with.

As people bust their knuckles claiming that Dhoni should play a farewell match or coach India, no one really knows what will play out in the end. Surprise factor is what had made Captain cool, the king of cool.

this sheer unpredictability had set Mahendra Singh Dhoni a level apart. The whole world cheers on, as the captain walks off.

Above his game, the gentleman’s attitude has played a grave job in robbing the hearts of many. He served the side with utmost respect and professionalism.

Win or loss, champions or at the bottom of the table, nothing shook him.

Now the wait continues, to see thala put on the jersey in ‘Yellow,’ to take this IPL season by storm.

‘Whistle podu.’

CAPTAIN COOL : signing off (part 1)

“Dhoni finishes off in style! A magnificent strike into the crowd. India lift the world Cup after 28 years. The party has started in the dressing room and it’s an Indian captain who has played an amazing innings on the night of the final,” this commentary by Ravi Shastri is bound to never leave us, even on our deathbeds; MSD winning us the WC with a six. One of the best moments that captured the finesse of our former Indian Captain.

It’s Saddening to say former, There was more to Mahi, than just being an Indian captain. He was the human embodiment of the hopes, aspirations and dreams of many. An emotion to the masses across the world.

Whistle podu,’ to the superstar. Thaliva, indeed!

The news of Dhoni’s retirement from the International level was a shocker. Throwing many a fans and even cricket enthusiasts in different parts of the world into an emotional dilemma.

The only words that one could gather was ‘did he have to hang his boots this early?’ A testament of the perception, that people had of Dhoni wearing the jersey in blue at least for the next few years.

Like always, he left us all awestruck and taken aback. Accustomed to putting us by the end of our seats, Mysterious like always, Dhoni bowed out from the major leagues. For old times sake right?

What could be adding to the trauma would be the fact that it marks the end of an era. The end of the dream team of India. Dhoni was the last one to leave, after legends like Viru, Zak, Yuvi, Bhaji and many more.

He was the man, the myth, the legend. Finding someone with true hate towards him would be something unattainable. He was committed to the game and nothing else, true gentleman who excelled in all his cricketing spectrums.

His on-field focus was impeccable.

He was the best finisher, wk and captain India has ever produced. The man’s focus to his is impeccable. He always looked deep in thought, always a couple of steps ahead the rest.

Captain cool was mostly a man of few words, if you think about it now, we never got much glimpses of him talking away on the telly.

Just like his words, he kept his emotions to himself too. Never letting them clouding over his judgements. Those piercing glances from within the helmet and charging down the 22 yards will never be forgotten.

Dhoni’s methods were unorthodox, but super efficient. From his batting style to just wearing one glove in tense situations to game changing bowler spell choices. A playmaker who steered the game of 22.

The story of a small time boy making upto the big leagues was beautifully portrayed in his biopic by the late star Sushant (RIP). I believe the movie just thickened our relationship with the man.

To be continued…

Hail Zidane

Zinedine Zidane- A man of inspiration for the upcoming generations. each and every football lover should know his story really well. Zidane can be defined as the Come back king, a True Coach and a perfect man. Probably one of the greatest player of his era. Zidane’s story is an inspirational theory of exactly how sportsman shall be. His victory of La Liga 2019-2020 is very raw and particularly relevant these days, after defeating the arch rival Barcelona indirectly. He never failed to shine in the role of a complete sportsman. Not only just as a player but his hunger for recognition as a coach is commendable. He proved to entire world that a greatest player can be a greatest coach too. To start the story with, Zidane was born on 23rd June 1972. He got his inspiration from the Argentine sportsman Diego Maradona whose techniques “were on another level” for him. Lovingly known as Zizou, he was a French Soccer player who mainly performed as an attacking midfielder. He was an asset for his team, often served as the backbone and has contributed a lot for the enhancement of the football fraternity. Zidane debuted professionally and scored his first goal for Cannes against Nantes. He was devoted to his national team of France where he received a lot of respect. His contribution in Euro Cup 2000, was unforgettable and he also was claimed as the Player of Tournament. He also had a great contribution for FiFA World Cup 2002,2006 and Euro 2004. He was also rewarded as the FIFA World player 1998, 2000 and 2003 also Ballon d’or 1998. He was a one man army who served his team so well and proved himself to be the greatest of all times.

Now lets come to the not-so-famous part, that such a responsible and disciplined person like Zizou, headbutted Marco Materazzi right to his chest, in 2006 World Cup. In the last world cup match of his life, he was shown a Red Card. Seriously was it heroic? or a bizarre act? This shocked the entire world and this was probably one of the worst act for breaking the rules. This drastic step was highly criticized by the media and questions were repeatatively asked to him. This became the most controversial headline. Zidane later accepted his fault and stated that, ” I am not proud of what I did to Materazzi “. Actually, Materazzi revealed that he spoke something worse to Zidane.

An advice for the future fast paced generations is that You have to compete with yourself, your primary competition will be with you and no one else. That very day Zidane had probably taken a vow that it is not okay to lose, or to accept the unfair game. He was of really a challenging nature so he promised to himself that being coward is never an option. you have to show the world your capabilities and what you deserve. Even till now, his aura of an elegant soccer player is still intact. Zidane ruled the Real Madrid club as a star player along with teammates like Cristiano Ronaldo and David Bekham (both supremely stylish players) primarily. Just as a brilliant student evolves to be the Principal. When he returned to Real Madrid as a Coach nobody thought that he is going to flourish so much on the upcoming days, however… He proved his excellence as a manager and was successful on his part. Though some people continued to criticise him whether he deserved to be in the position or not. Zidane was gifted with huge honours namely, Three Champion Leagues, Two European Super Cups, Two Spanish Super Cups also Two Club World Cups. He left his Coaching when he was questioned on whether he was capable of the position or not. The thing was his eligibility was constantly tested in all phases. After that the conditions of Real Madrid coaching really degraded and the previous coach was sacked. Zidane came back again as a King, and for concluding this story… he won the La Liga title after 2017. 34th La Liga Title, 2020 was hoisted by Real Madrid players defeating Villareal, under guidance of Zidane.

“WE WERE A FAMILY WHO HAD COME FROM NOTHING AND NOW WE HAD RESPECT FROM FRENCH PEOPLE OF ALL SORTS’. – Zidane.

REFERENCE: Zinedine Zidane – Wikipedia.

The same ‘piece’ of every puzzle!

How fair is it to say that cricket has strangled other sports?

Despite the numerous irregularities in cricket, the level of the game prevailed while the other sports which remained under the government, their irregularities rose up to such serious deck that the game itself went into the abyss.

Cricket’s popularity in India has long been cited as a threat to other sports. There is also a section which believes that the popularity of cricket is a product of corporate houses. Cricket is a game of corporate and power, and it is played to benefit them. Therefore, this game should be resisted and its popularity should not be allowed to become intoxicating, otherwise, the ‘silverware‘ of corporate and controlling people will be lost.

But if you consider, every game has turned into a corporate one. From football to hockey, badminton, wrestling, tennis, kabaddi, corporate houses interfere in all these sports.
Are the Premier Badminton League, Pro Kabaddi League, Pro Wrestling League being held without corporate intervention?
Then why to oppose corporate interference in cricket?

Various sports associations of the country which are under the government, all have the intervention of corporate bodies and leaders. In every union, they hold large positions. Allegations of economic rigging are going on in the courts within the sports association. Corruption in the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is not hidden from anyone. It is said that the BCCI has got the disease of corruption, disease; that for several years till now, the Sports Ministry has not been able to implement the Sports Code in the sports associations which falls under it. Because the sports associations do not want to do, the vested interests of their officials are coming in the way. More than half of the sports associations of the country have been disbanded because of the same.

Consider the boxing federation, players enter the Olympics but not with the Indian flag, because our federation does not have the recognition of the International Boxing Association. It is just because there is corruption, there is government intervention, there is opacity.

Instead of making cricket evitable on account of the corporate interference in it, the need is to understand why this shift happened!
After all these, why the corporate houses were successful in getting entry into the games and the games rely on them? It went on because the government failed to encourage sports.

Football was supported by the government. The Indian football team played the Olympics, but where does India stand today? It has come a long way over five decades. After participating in the Olympics, we had to get up from the ground and reach the sky, but we reached Hades. Football has been gulped by the government machinery.

Basketball has become the wrestling arena of Congress-BJP in the country today. Players are searching for a future outside the country. The role of the Sports Ministry itself is questionable in the whole matter.

Weightlifting is under detention and the association itself is involved in it, according to a coach associated with weightlifting association himself. But what policy did the government make to prevent doping in weightlifting? If a coach made such serious allegations, then was it investigated?

A similar system ate hockey. The Sports Authority of India (SAI) also reveals irregularities. Who can even forget the Commonwealth scam!

We can say that when the government could not handle the games, the corporate bodies interfered. The Games needed them to raise their standards.  Today, almost every well-known athlete is playing under the mercy of some corporates. They are sponsoring them and earning through their popularity. That’s why not only cricket is the game of hegemony and corporate, all sports have become the same.

The only good thing with cricket is that despite the irregularities, the level of the game is retained.

Balancing Academics and Extra Curricular Activities

What does “research” mean about the implications of extracurricular activities on the academic performance of students? The U.S. Department of Education study says students who pursue extra-curricular activities get better grades than students who are not interested in extra-curricular activities. The same research also indicates that any individual could achieve better grades in his studies when he takes place in numerous co-curricular activities, independent of the backgrounds from which they come. Extra-curricular activities come in different forms, such as participation in athletics, music, painting, drama, and other school and college social events.

Importance of balancing sports and academics: Difficult but doable ...

In addition to better exam grades, the activities also have a good impact on the students’ personalities, shaping their behaviour and attitudes towards life. Extra-curricular activities normally take place in groups that allow the students to develop their competitive nature, encouraging them to conduct themselves better in a community. Extra-curricular activities are the only activities that improve the learner’s leadership skills. When he participates in such activities, the student would shine in a career, while retaining his usual interest in his study.

A student seeks a balance between extra-curricular activities and his academic interests, which will positively contribute to his learning development and future plans. Let’s know some of the ways that will help to build a better balance between academics and extra-curricular activities.

Choosing Specific Extra Curricular Activities:

Can a student get better at any type of extracurricular activity? Surely in such activities he or she should develop participatory spirit. But allocating significant amount of time to the activities is important and choosing the best specific activities for participation. When the stress to bring better grades in the studies for various subjects continues to grow, it would not be possible to take up every available activity in the colleges and schools in extra-curricular programmes.

With this, it is crucial that the student chooses one or two activities, and he needs to have a fundamental interest in that specific activity. If the student is interested in engaging in debates and writing essays, choosing each of these interests and creating a plan to enhance these activities would become suitable for him. The student must devote a set time during a specific day to the practice of writing debates and essays at home or in the hostel.

Creating a Time Table to strike a balance:

Some students build their time-table to learn subjects such as physics, chemistry, mathematics, etc. But they neglect that maintaining a regular schedule for the practice of extracurricular activities in both things could create balance. As with regular reading of books for various topics, extracurricular activities require daily practice.

It keeps interest alive in activities such as devoting time to the students and finding ways to excel in these activities. For example, if a student is interested in playing Cricket, daily practice of the sport gives him the opportunity to play better and free from mental stress. The student could set a certain amount of time per day for daily practice and during this, he could refine his bowling, batting, or fielding skills, which are important parts of the game.

Leadership is Key:

Leadership is the first mandatory requirement in every sort of extracurricular activity. If the student displays leadership in these events, it demonstrates that his or her acts in academics and extracurricular stuff have been well balanced. Once again it shows that the student has the right level of investment in both the valuable aspects of his personality and career development overall. Extra-curricular activities give the opportunities to grow skills and the student could meet the desired goal for his career with leadership initiatives.

Research has shown us that extra-curricular activities build interest in the students and motivate them to engage more in academic research. Such exercises are only instrumental in keeping everything integrated for better accomplishment. An asset to the community is a well-balanced student between academics and extra-curricular activities.