Sports has given me nothing except injury, says 13 times national player
New Delhi: Many people aspire to become a successful sports persons. So where do they get stuck? When CitySpidey interviewed thirteen times national player Sahil Raria Yadav, he threw light on his sports journey and drawbacks of Indian sports.
In India, we still don't have any job security for the sportsmen, unless there is an exception in achievement of any player. So what do they do actually? What option do they still have if not sports?
During his time, Yadav was a very good goalkeeper in handball. He started sports in the sixth standard when he was studying in Army Public School, Delhi Cantt. In his Interview, he shared with us some of very significant moments of his sports journey.
Yadav said that he got inspiration from his sister who went to every tournament and came back playing nationals. The very first time when he started playing, it was very difficult for him to cope up with senior players. As a goalkeeper, they threw the ball with lots of power. It became difficult to stop the ball in one go, sometimes the ball hit his face, sometimes on his stomach. The pain, the marks on his body, all made him stronger.
When we asked Yadav why he chose to become a goalkeeper, he said, “It was good to be a goalkeeper, I loved it because the goalkeepers had different t-shirt from other players. It made me look different and good.”
Seven players play a game of handball, six front players, and one goalkeeper. It is a mixture of basketball and football. He played his first tournament from CBSE. Schools do not offer many tournaments. They are played under the school federation. It made Yadav to move to Sports Authority of India (SAI).
SAI is a broad base of sports in India, which implement programmes for achieving excellence in sports in different disciplines at International level. Yadav added that he had a very wonderful experience at SAI and also added that SAI practice level is of next level.
After coming to SAI, Yadav got selected for 13 nationals back to back. In one of the games, he got badly injured which led to problems in his lower back. The doctor restricted him to play. This wasn't an obstacle for him, he continued playing sports.
Later, what he experienced was the real hurdle. Yadav said, “When I think about the future in sports, I see darkness. Nobody appreciates you and nobody knows you. You do not get required recognition or respect in your own community. A room with golden reflection covered with medals has no value. Sports players are still hungry for jobs, for money and for a basic livelihood. What I see in sports that the privileged ones are getting what they want and how they want sports to be. People face discrimination on the basis on the social status.”
“I wanted to continue sports but when we think practically there is nothing rewarding. There are very few job opportunities available. Our country lacks a good culture in sports. I would have continued sports but there was nothing I could do to feed my family,” he added.
Sports was everything for Yadav but practically thinking, not for a longer run. Now Yadav is interning as a criminal lawyer, working under Jai Singh Yadav, lawyer, Dwarka court.