A STEPPING STONE: INTER –NIT SPORTS
May 15, 2017 | Gyan Prakash Sahoo
The Inter-NIT tournament for Handball and Kho-Kho was hosted by NIT Surathkal from 17th-19th March. This edition was a stepping stone for the NITR contingents, who despite not winning any title, did not come home with empty hands but brought with them a cherishing experience that would surely help them in achieving the grand title in the upcoming years. Team MM brings you a brief report of the performance of these contingents.
It was a debut for NITR into a grand tournament like Inter-NIT for handball. With no prior experience and a fresh team formed just a few months prior to the tournament, the contingent represented NITR among the 9 participating teams. These teams were divided into two pools, consisting of 5 and 4 teams respectively. The team was headed by Birju Pal, a 1st year M. Tech student from the Department of Civil Engineering.
NITR was pooled with NIT Trichy, NIT Surat, and NIT Agartala. The matches were of league type, where teams winning the maximum number of matches in the pool would be selected for further rounds. In the first match, NITR went against NIT Agartala and it was a draw with a tally of 10-10. In the second match, it went against NIT Surat and unfortunately lost by 10-17. In the third match, it went against NIT Trichy and won by 7-4. To decide the winner, the goal difference was compared and as a result, NIT Agartala went for the semi-finals and NITR was knocked out of the tournament.
On getting in touch with Birju Pal, he quoted
This is the first time that a handball team is formed in the institute and participating with a completely fresh team in such big tournament was indeed a tough job. It was a learning experience for us to see our game play and analyze those of other teams. For next year, we are planning to organize inter-hall tournament for handball so that we can find good players and form a good team.
The team did face many problems during the practice. Due to the absence of poles and a proper court in DTS, the captain had to arrange for poles and prepare a rough court from his own pocket. They were given only two balls to practice from SAC. The major issue was that the team could not find a coach in Odisha to train them and hence could not learn all the rules properly. For next year, it is planning to get a coach from another state.
It was the second time that NITR participated in Inter-NIT Kho-Kho. In this edition, only the mens’ team was able to participate and the womens' team could not due to the tournament clashing with the cultural fest of BITS Hyderabad. This tournament witnessed the participation of 11 teams which were divided into 4 pools, with 3 pools having 3 teams and the last one with two teams. The team was headed by Joga Sammaiah.
NITR was pooled with NIT Nagpur and NIT Calicut. The matches organized were of league type, where even one win would lead the team to quarter-finals. In the first match, NITR went against NIT Calicut and won. In the second match, it went against NIT Nagpur and unfortunately lost. In the quarter-finals, it went against NIT Raipur and unfortunately lost and hence got eliminated from the tournament.
On getting in touch with Joga Sammaiah, he quoted
In the previous year the team was runners up but this time it got eliminated from the quarters itself only due to lack of practice. Majority of the players were new and they needed more time to improve their game play. From next year, we have planned to conduct the inductions much in advance and bring a coach to give proper guidance to the team.
The major issue that the team faced was that the poles for Kho-Kho were taken out due to events like Musical Night, Inter-NIT etc. being conducted in DTS and were then not setup for the major part of the year, hence leading to insufficient practice. The lighting problem in DTS also created a lot of hindrance for them. For next year, the major tasks for the team are to get a coach to train it, ensure that the poles remain for a major part of the year and the inductions for the new players be held much in advance so that they get sufficient time to practice.