Every Year-of-the-Olympics, the same questions are posed across the world by people of Indian origin. Why is India, a country of 1.2 billion, so bad at the Olympics? …And, when Fiji, a country of less than a million, with a majority of Indo-Fijians can win a gold at the Olympics !
With the above thinking hat, I refer back to an article titled “Reviving Old Memories” in Star of Mysore dated July 13, 2021, to reminisce on Mr. Nizamuddin’s efforts to improve sports awareness in 1955-57, when he came in, as our teacher, with the halo of an all-India soccer player.
Till then the Government High School in Kolar did not have a physical fitness programme worth its name. Generally speaking, the Head Masters at such Schools were close to retirement and did not care for any sports; nor any money allocated for sports equipment; parent-teacher groups did not exist and parents were not asked to help either.
It is to the young Nizamuddin’s credit that he started physical fitness routines for the students after class-hours, on his “Day-One” at the School, even though he was a teacher of History. Nizamuddin insisted on running exercises, stretching, jump-skip rope routines, floor exercises and so on, along with his passion for football practice. His positive comments and encouragement was what we needed so badly at the time, in spite of lack of any equipment for various sports.
I still remember my teacher Nizamuddin’s cajoling to keep moving… and even when he saw me in the School corridors, he used to shout “why the hell are you walking?”… “I should be running”…he used to demand!
Today, if we had people like Mr. Nizamuddin all over the sports horizon of India, we would not be in such a bad shape at the world-wide of sports including the quadrennial Olympics!
– Subby Subramanyam, Spring, Texas USA, 8.8.2021
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