Pusarla Venkata Sindhu is a 21st century sports icon for women athletes in India. She rose to fame in the last decade, winning dozens of titles around the world. After she won a silver medal at the Olympics and became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the BWF World Championships, PV Sindhu added another feather to her cap by winning an Olympic medal for the second year in a row. Apart from that she has also won bronze at Tokyo 2020 and is the first Indian woman to win two Olympic medals. On the occasion of teachers day the reputed athlete shares with us her experience and how her teachers played an important role in bringing her where she is today.
With hours of training, weekly and monthly competitive tournaments, and long trips to actual playgrounds, it's no surprise that young athletes struggle to find a balance between their success on field and in the classroom. With education always being seen as a top priority by the world, it is up to our teachers to identify each child’s individual talent and nurture it so they can one day make the country proud in their own way. Competitive sports always enhance the aspects of leadership, time management, responsibility, team building, commitment and social capital.
On the occasion of Teacher’s Day The Telegraph Online Edugraph got into a candid chat with Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist PV Sindhu to get to know about her special memories attached with the day
“Talking about Teachers’ Day, I would say that be it school, badminton, or college, I am thankful to each of my teachers as they have helped me a lot. I remember when I needed permissions in school, my teachers were kind enough to allow me to go and train. Coming back to sports teachers, I have played with a lot of coaches and as a young trainee I learnt something or the other from each of them. I address my teachers as “gurus”, because of them I am here today. They guided me in the right direction and today when I look back I see numerous such special memories which brought me where I am today” recalls Sindhu.
Young athletes, especially in our country, are often expected to give school education and sports the same weightage and this is never an easy task. This is where the role of a good teacher starts. From teaching the student the importance of time management, while also giving them the time and understanding they need to wholeheartedly pursue their sport on an equal footing with academics - it is only a true ‘guru’ who can show them the way.
“I think this is very important, and in a way I am lucky my teachers understood that I play badminton and what it took to come to this level. So every time, even in college, that I needed permission to go out, my principal was supportive. She even asked me not to worry and allowed me to revert back to her in case I needed further help. Because of my continuous practice sessions I could not attend my classes and hence I had to take tuitions later and to my support, my teachers always had my back. I completed my schooling and college from Auxilium High School and St. Ann's College respectively. As a young athlete it was never easy for me to manage both, [that is train and] attend college regularly. So when I told my teachers that I need to practice and go out for tournaments they were happy [to support me]. I’d like to add they gave me permissions right away and in that I was extremely lucky” added Sindhu.
Sindhu won a gold medal in women's singles badminton at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games Source: P.V. Sindhu
Young students in school and college are often juggling multiple homework assignments, or studying for their upcoming examinations. In such a scenario practicing sports while balancing schoolwork can be a demanding task. However, with the correct guidance from teachers, study room, trips to distant game fields, and tuition all fall in place as happened with the nation’s Badminton champion PV Sindhu.
“I remember all my teachers asking me everyday ‘how is it going’, ‘what upcoming tournaments do I have’ so I believe each of them have taken really good care of me which kept me going and helped me reach where I am today” concluded Sindhu.
Teachers influence the lives and success of their students in ways they are not even able to fathom themselves. Not just the support, but the simple act of taking an interest in and intrinsically motivating a child can make all the difference to their self confidence and drive to succeed, as we have seen in the case of Sindhu. Teachers serve as the guiding light, helping students in effective planning and goal setting, so that students with varied interests, including student-athletes, find success in multiple areas of life.