Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sports and Physical Fitness

A lot depends on what kind of facilities are available where you are. As a kid and upto class 12, I had both.

Sainik School Balachadi had a huge campus. We had many football, hockey, basketball, volleyball and cricket grounds. I used to play all of them except for Cricket. I enjoyed watching it but never could ball or bat well. Invariably ended up fielding and started losing interest. The outdoor sports, mostly being team sports, were solid fun. Other activities included a morning routine of 3km and 7km runs around two famous temples. Overall,I think Sainik Schools do a good job of creating a culture of physical fitness.

From a sports/physical fitness perspective, probably my engineering years were the worst. Did nothing.

First one and a half years into my job, I stayed at Tata townships. Good part of living at Townships is extremely affordable sports facilities. At Jamshedpur, I learned to play billiards and snooker. I had a choice between this and golf and don't know why I went for Billiards. Probably because some of my friends went for it and we could drink and have snacks while playing. Pune, luckily we had a govt swimming pool nearby, and I was a regular.

After Pune, I had to move to cities and began my 2nd bad phase. Indore, Bhopal, Ahmedabad didn't have multiple govt. facilties or may were very far off. There were clubs, which housed these facilities, and were too expensive.

Luckily at Chennai, I was staying near IIT and they have a fabulous championship swimming pool. I made full use of it. At the time of transfer to Gurgaon, I was doing 40-50 lengths of an olympic size swimming pool.

At Ggn, back to club culture and most of them expensive.

During this time, I was introduced to Golf by Rajiv Kapadia, a very dear friend, while visiting him at Detroit. He took me to the range for 2 days and then to the course for next 5 days. Truly enjoyed the game. Liking turned over to passion and back here Mano Chhabra took me to TERI driving range. From then on I am hooked to it. Today I took some definitive steps towards commiting even further to this game. Bought a 'Dunlop' Golf Set and subscribed to the membership of TERI Golf Course. Over years I will try to introduce this game to Navaangi and Aadi, and hope that they will take liking to it. I can now afford to take membership of a local city club, which has some of the other facilities. I wished that some of my close friends picked it up, it would have been so much more easier for all of us to play as a group. Wives would have had known company. I have also started gymming.

But most of this happened so late. Due to accesibility and affordability issues and partly to attitude as well.

Local govts. need to assume more proactive role in maintaining public health. They need to create multiple facilities and make sports affordable and accesible and not leave it to private clubs. Benefit includes a physically fit and mentally active. It also brings in discipline. This does so good to the society and results in reduction of health costs. This is also showing up in our standing most international sports, including Olympics. But since this does't translate into votes, they do a shoddy job of it. Oh ! I am sorry...no job of it. Hope we have good days ahead.

No comments: