CHENNAI : Former player, captain of the Indian cricket team and currently its head coach, Rahul Dravid once spoke about the bamboo principle. A philosophical lesson that asks one to adapt to their strengths, focus on the larger goal and remain patient. Dravid believes in India’s case, academic strengths can complement a student’s sporting development and vice-versa, and as a result, develop a fruitful symbiotic relationship between the two.
Sharing his own experiences, he says, “Sports and education are two sides of the same coin. To be good at academics, one requires logic, which is equally important for sports. For example, Math helped me exercise my brain to work faster in problem-solving situations, which we also faced during our matches.” Fondly called ‘The Wall’, Dravid is regarded as one of the greatest batsmen in the history of the sport. “Education is key for gathering knowledge and improving academic skills, whereas sport helps students gain quality leadership, tolerance, team spirit, healthy competitiveness, sharing, hard work and, most importantly, discipline,” he says.
Raised and trained in Bengaluru for most of his growing-up years, Dravid feels the city is progressive when it comes to incorporating athletic development. “Sports infrastructure is booming across the country, however, Bengaluru has been progressive in focusing on sustainable development. This city has changed immensely for athletes who are pursuing sports at the professional level as well as at the recreational level. Today, we have various high-performance centres catering to elite athletes as well as real estate brands who understand the importance of play and have started integrating sporting amenities into their residential projects. We must encourage such initiatives which further help us in becoming a physically active nation,” he says.
In the early days of the new year, Dravid spoke, virtually, at a sporting event in his hometown, addressing the concerns of physical education (PE) teachers who attended the event from across India. The two-day workshop at the Padukone-Dravid Centre for Sports Excellence (PDCSE) was organised by Plaeto Pioneers.
The 50-year-old cricketing icon feels such events, much like the bamboo principle, have an overarching impact. “I strongly believe in treating play as an integral part of school life. India’s youth can learn as much from play as they can from their regular subjects. Something that has always resonated strongly with me is building confidence and character through play and sports. The most critical part of this is using the time set aside for PE optimally when we speak about a child’s overall development,”
A sports centre like PDCSE, Dravid believes, is an important step for promoting sports from the elementary level. “The centre’s foundation was built to provide world-class facilities to all athletes and coaches. It has recently completed five years, and it gives me joy to see how far we have come in promoting sports. Not only has it produced some of the finest athletes competing at the international level, but also catered to the development of sport at the grassroots level. We hope to continue the momentum of promoting sport at all levels,” he concludes.