Pantheon of Champions: Inter-NIT Sports
”The only time you should look back is to see how far you’ve come ahead”
Such is the story of the sports enthusiasts at NIT Rourkela who have been relentlessly working hard with a glint of sentimental pride in their eyes for the institute they are a part of. And what better place to exhibit their dedication, hard work and passion for sports than the Inter - NIT sports festival. NIT-R, which has been an institute of national repute, is hosting 2 sports tournaments – Swimming and Cricket and is sending its well-honed, well-vetted teams to the same resplendent podium every sportsman dreams of going to. The notion that the football team had to withdraw their registration status is unfortunate, to say the least, and the participation of chess team still remains rather gloomy. Following is a collection below of the various sports that are visiting foreign NITs for the competition.
The Kho-Kho tournament is tentatively scheduled from 17th-19th of March in NIT Surathkal. The team’s selection in the finals solely depends on the efforts and practice put into it as the team hasn’t been finalized yet. At the end of the month, if the concerned authorities approve of it, the team will be selected to perform in the tournament.
There’s a shortage of equipment, specifically poles which has made the practice session tough for the teams.
Talking to Archana Rath, captain of Girls’ Kho-Kho team, she said:
"The members are less because this is a new team. Girls are still learning. And in a team sport, it has to be everybody who contributes. The team just needs more time and real hard work to get better and up to the mark. We did get to participate in IIT-BHU in spite of being a new team and the authorities have helped us in every possible way. And I believe they would always do so. I believe a re-induction is necessary and more girls should start playing the game."
Badminton team has been finalised to play in the tournament which will be held in the first week of March in MNNIT, Allahabad. The institute team selection will be held in the mid of February after the arrival of their coach which is scheduled on 23rd of January. The girls’ team consists of 4 members whereas the boys’ team consists of 5. There is a regular practice session ongoing in which the members play among themselves.
The preparation starts at 6 AM in the morning and stretches up to 3 hours. The practice session consists of regular warm-ups and shot practising. In the coming week, the team is planning to do shadow practice in which members have to practice how to cover the full court by proper stepping and how to move their racket while playing drop, toss, and keep shots.
Talking with the Girls team Captain, Anusmita Saha we came to know of the hurdles faced by them. Quoting the statement by her:
"We have only one badminton court and there are too many players including boys so one person can't play for a long time or he/she unable to spend time on the court for long. Sometimes they are unable to practice properly as they have to give chance to play to any other person."
Meanwhile quoting the statement of Boys’ team captain, Gourav Kumar Parmar said:
"We need feather shuttles as all matches are played in feather and we hardly get 2 barrels which are merely before the Inter-Nit or any other tournament. Most of the players are new to the team. They are trying hard to match the level of Inter-NIT students."
Athletics tournament has been finalized between 4th -7th of March in NIT Kurukshetra. The team is yet to be finalized by the end of January. The practice session of both Boys’ and Girls’ team has been started officially from 10th of January but keeping into account the forthcoming match, the members started the practice from last semester itself.
Practice timing being 6-8 PM consists of event specific workouts requiring them to warm up where they jog for 5 to 6 rounds followed by stretching and sprinting.
Talking to Rakesh Kumar, Boys’ team Captain:
"We used to practice in DTS but now it's reserved for Inter-NIT cricket tournament so we are facing difficulties in track preparation. We are not getting a proper track. Our ground is very hard which leads to injury of many athletes."
The Inter- NIT hockey tournament will be held in NIT Surathkal from 17th to 19th of March. As the DTS ground has been taken up for the preparation of Inter-NIT Cricket tournament, the team focuses on practice sessions for short periods. The practice session is held between 6:30- 8:30 PM every day.
An induction is scheduled on 20th of January to allow new passionate players in the team. A training session is being conducted on a daily basis for the newcomers. The coach from SAIL, Hockey has been called up who is to arrive on 2nd of February which will facilitate the matches with SAIL, Hockey teams.
Talking to Umesh Oram, captain Hockey team:
"Firstly, the players here lack a direction and interest which makes the presence of a coach inevitable and thus we are waiting for him eagerly. Secondly, we require the institute to provide the Hockey Kit without which practice is next to impossible. And lastly, we need more regular practice sessions with SAIL Hockey team in order to boost up our stamina and know where we’re running short."
5. Lawn Tennis
The Inter-NIT tennis tournament will be held at MNNIT, Allahabad. The dates are yet to be finalized but the tentative dates are the first or second weekend of March. Four players constitute the team for Inter NIT. However, one of the teammates got afflicted with a ligament tear due to which the team is currently looking for a replacement. The team practices from 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm during weekdays and 8:30 am to 11:30 am during weekends. The practice session includes a jog for 10 minutes, stretching exercises covering all the important joints, forehand drills, backhand drills, volleys, serves, retrieving drop shots and drills including shots of all kinds. If time permits the team to play against each other and tries different doubles combination to find the best one.
Speaking of which the captain of the institute tennis team, Tathagatha Kundu said:
"We try to work on the technicalities and flaws in our game by observing each other. The court condition is worsening day by day with cracks opening up wide. Also, the imbalance of flood lights during the evening sessions makes it hard to sight the ball. And new ball barrels aren't obtained that easily due to disbursing restrictions. Moreover, they are expensive for us to acquire or buy on a daily basis as it requires minimum one barrel per day for practice. Playing with worn out balls does affect the game in the long run. Since new balls are quintessential for practice. A basket of 30 balls is required for smooth practice session and drills."
6. Table Tennis
For the table tennis team, the tournament is scheduled to be in NIT Srinagar in the month of March. The actual date and time has not been notified yet. The same team which bagged the silver medal in the IIT BHU sports fest will be participating in the inter-NIT sports fest as well. However, the team can flexibly include or remove any of the players based on their skills and dedication. The coaching sessions for the players has already started. Each session is 2 hours from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm in which the first hour. The players who are not in the team are coached and then in the next hour, the institute team is coached. This way, the team will have a backup option in case someone is not able to turn up for the tournament. Commenting about this, the captain of institute table tennis team Sankarananda Rana said:
"To evaluate the performance, matches are being conducted on Saturday. The team is also helping in training the players for the coming years as well. However, the practice could have been even better if we had 1 more table and we are running short on table tennis balls."
The volleyball tournament is set to be at NIT Surathkal and the tentative date so given is from March 17th-19th. Practice for the same is going on in full swing. The team practices from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm and that includes jogging, warm up exercises, stretching exercises, ball touches, service practice and final match plays. The boys’ team plays matches with local volleyball teams as a part of their preparation. The men and women teams each will be having a total of 12 playing members.
The captain of the girls’ team, Punyaja Dash said:
"The preparations so far have been pretty good and definitely better than what we did for BHU tournament. Unlike those times, we don’t have court and lighting related problems. However, we need one extra net and few more balls for smooth practicing. Regarding the team, 8 are fixed institute players and the other 4 spots are kept vacant for those who can practice regularly."
The captain of the boys’ team, Arun Kumar Palla said:
"We lacked a coach since a long time but we’ll be having one by this week. Regarding the team, 6 out of 12 are experienced players in their final years and the other spots are vacant as of now and will be filled by those who are up to the mark."