Interview of Candidate for Sports Secretary (Girls) - Aastha Singh

- Neha Tabassum , Journal Club



You are standing for the post of Sports Secretary, Girls of the Campus. As the elections draw closer, how do you feel about it?
The elections are a journey for us. We get to learn a lot of things. Personally, I was away from all this for the past two years and I feel I have missed out a lot. Summing up, it is a big learning experience for me and I am happy that I am contesting in the elections.

What unique qualities/major strengths do you possess that we should consider?
I have been playing both indoor and outdoor games. I am a member of both Basketball and Table Tennis teams. I had to push myself to such an extent to start learning because I wanted to learn. When I came here I wasn’t good at Table Tennis. I asked my peers who then replied “Mujhe galli TT aata hain” and there it started off…. I had to persuade the senior and the boys’ team to teach me the game. After learning Table Tennis I got an opportunity to represent my campus in Spree and we won a gold there. Out of many girls, I am proud that I could start off something new.

Coming to your manifesto, you aim to introduce cricket, football and squash teams for girls. Now, in the campus, the level of participation of girls in sports, as a whole, is lacklustre. How do you aim at making these sports, and others, regular and popular for girls to participate in?
Yes, I do have many good ideas. As a member of the Table Tennis and Basketball teams, I believe that the prime cause for this is the lack of a proper coach. If a coach comes frequently, we can inculcate sporting in our routine. However, we do have regular basketball sessions. Girls need a push, though. Moreover, I think that the workshops for various sports would seriously help people a lot. It can induce an interest in sports.

You also mention bringing in a sports physician and dietician during pre-arena sessions. If, and when the sporting culture on the Campus improves, don’t you think a permanent qualified physician is required in the campus?
I think this should first be examined under a trial basis. Obviously, the trial should be held around that time when everyone on the campus gets a zeal for sports. Moreover, that is the time when every player feels that he must give his 200% for the campus and for himself. He exerts himself to such a level that he ends up doubling the protein intake and practise sessions as well. I believe this is the right time to introduce a dietician and a physician. I want to try it for a short period first and then make it permanent if it reaches out well.

Though footfall for Arena is relatively higher than for Pearl, why do you think Arena fails to stand at par with Pearl?
Arena isn’t at par with Pearl? I think the reason for this is the inadequate involvement of people during Arena. During Pearl, there are a lot of pro-shows, music and dance competitions going on. But Arena is all about games. I also believe that the people of our campus are more interested in cultural activities when compared to sports. We do a lot of things during Arena. But finally, very few people turn up to cheer the participants. We do have to increase the participation of people first. However, I think Arena is at par with Pearl.

Do you think the expectations for Arena ’17 have been fulfilled? Also, do you have any specific plans for the next Arena?
Arena ’17 was very well organized. But there were things that could have happened better. For instance, during Arena, there were many on-spot registrations. There were fixtures that were already made. There was a communication gap between the people keeping the record of on-spot registrations and the captain. Basically, I had no contact with the people responsible for on-spot registration. Captains aren’t always available. There was a gap.
I think other departments/some of the team members handling the coordination would ease out the whole process. There were many things done altogether because the footfall for Arena is higher than Pearl. We had a good team work but I think it can be better.

How successful do you think the incumbent Sports Secretary has been?
Frankly speaking, during Arena, she did her best to live up to the promises she had made. She ensured the proper distribution of t-shirts to every team member and I think this is the first time that every player was given his jersey within the promised time. She is dedicated to her work, lived up to her promises and more importantly,
she made herself available during Arena. Apart from being the Sports Sec, she is also an SUC member which adds to her responsibilities.

Can you give the tentative timeline of when you will be starting off the cycling excursions (BITSians on wheels)?
When the first yearites come, they must settle down first. There are many things happening on the campus. Once everyone is comfortable, we can move to excursions. People should enjoy it. My responsibility is to make sure that everyone gets involved in it. They should have fun and should get to know each other. All this can happen only when everyone is in a lite mode. Being more specific, I think we can start this thing in a month or so after the sem starts.

I don’t think our sports teams win many accolades in other college competitions .In view of this, how do you consider the sporting culture of the Campus?
We can’t underestimate the potential of our team members wherein we even have national players. We did win some accolades. The root cause, I believe is the lack of regular practise. We should increase the participation in various local college competitions. Our campus is completely residential. That is not the case with other local colleges, allowing them to go to sporting academies to enrich their sporting culture.
Hyderabad has good sporting culture. Many female sports persons like PV Sindhu, Sania Mirza, Saina Nehwal are from Hyderabad. Also, I think that sporting culture of BPHC is no less. Comparing with Bits Goa now, one can find more enthusiastic people in there. It’s primarily because of the culture already developed. We do have a girl’s football team there but not here. however, we have the best facilities required to develop any kind of sport. The only thing required is passion, participation, and enthusiasm.