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Former Indian hockey captain Viren Ruskinha interacts with GITAM students as part of the ‘Changemakers’ series

Sports teach equality: Viren

Sport can teach values such as teambuilding, equality, discipline, inclusion, perseverance, being fair to all and respect, said Viren Rasquinha, Former Indian Hockey Captain, and MD & CEO, Olympic Gold Quest (an NGO). Viren Rasquinha interacted with students of GITAM Deemed to be University here on Wednesday, as a part of the ‘Changemakers’ series.

Viren recalled his childhood and told students about his school had a culture of sport and his hockey coach was an Olympian. It paved the way for his interest in the game leading him to eventually captain of the Indian hockey team, even though none of his family members played a sport. During his early years as the captain of the Mumbai hockey junior team Viren led the team to the finals after 24 years and it was the turning point in his career, he narrated. He has always believed in being the best and not the second best.

‘While playing in a team, everyone has their own role to play, with different skill sets. But we are able to identify the skill set and should bring out their best’, Viren told. He also spoke about time management and how he managed his time effectively for continuing his studies and sports simultaneously.

He added that facilities in sports improved and the coaches are available in India. If anyone truly worked with the right team and the right intension, he/she could succeed. He expressed his disappointment with the fact that most of the Indian universities are treating sports as an extra-curricular activity but not as the main focus. He observed that there is a need to upgrade the skill set of coaches from the grassroots level.

Viren advised the students to walk whenever it is possible, at least 15 to 30 minutes every day and practice the minimum stretches (body postures). He said, ‘Do whatever you want and pursue your passion, and develop the culture of sport for a healthy nation’.

Prof. D.S.Rao, Pro Vice-Chancellor, GITAM, Hyderabad felicitated the veteran player. Smita Sharma, Journalist and Visiting Faculty, Kautilya School of Public Policy, moderated this event.

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