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Student Athletics: Should Indians really be doing this?

Editor's Pick 17 Jul 2011, 21:05 IST

About a century ago a great nation [and no, we aren’t talking about our beloved India, here we are talking about America] introduced the concept of a “student athlete” to the world. As the name suggests, a student athlete is someone who is a student as well as an athlete. Now why this concept is so important is because it gave a student who was a phenomenal athlete but an average student an equal if not a higher chance of success. Being a student athlete is not everybody’s cup of tea, life is not at all as easy as it seems for a student athlete. Being a student athlete means  hours of practice, buckets full of sweat, a lot of hard work, concentration etc. It’s also very obvious that all this takes its toll on one’s body physically as well as mentally. And this was just the athlete part, there’s the student part as well, the assignments, the grade points and the never ending homework.

So, the first question in your minds should be “If being a student athlete is so hard, then how come it is considered to be a phenomenal concept?’’  Well the answer to this question was given by the Americans themselves.  The genii that they are, the Americans suggested something very simple yet very brilliant, they suggested to give the student athletes some privileges and decided to be a little lenient on the student part, and why not? As, at the end of the day, the athlete did sweat it out mainly for the pride of his/her school or college. As a part of the privileges, there were showers so that an athlete didn’t have to sit in his class looking like a sweaty pig, there were exceptions made for them so that their work load was balanced, leniency was given on the assignments and the home works, they were respected, encouraged as they were the ones who were making an extra effort for the pride of their institutions. Now after a century, America is one of the greatest sporting nations on earth and they are considered as a physically superior race.

Where America prides itself on its student athletics, India is desperately left behind

Now let’s turn to our beloved country, India, where a student athlete is considered as someone who is wasting his time and/or is just trying to make excuses for the work not done on time, where teachers act like they are doing student athletes a favour by letting them play in the school sports teams. Where a student athlete is someone who’s dumb and has done a crime by joining the school team, where a student athlete has to sit in the class sweating like a pig after practicing at 40 degrees just because their school [which by the way is one of the best in the country] does not have showers for team players, where teachers don’t let a chance slip to make life hell for student athletes, where there is no respect for student athletes and where there are certainly no privileges for the student athletes, we the student athletes should ask ourselves “ Should we really be doing this?   Should we even be student athletes”?

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