Former Australian cricketer Adam Gilchrist gave insights on the importance of physical education and how sport plays a pivotal role in the growth of a child. He visited one of KOOH Sports' partner schools in Mumbai and had an interactive session with the kids on his life as a cricketer.
The main motive of his visit was to induce enthusiasm within the kids to keep pursuing sports at grassroots levels for leading a healthy and a balanced lifestyle in the future. He, further, spoke about how Sports can be taken up as a career. Dr Amanda Day, Counsellor (Education) at the Australian High Commission was also present at the event and helped kids understand what it is like to study in Australia.
The day was concluded with the Q&A session with the kids. The common doubts which hover the kids of today were answered by Adam Gilchrist along with the other panel of experts who were - John Gloster, Chief Quality Officer at KOOH Sports and Dr Amanda Day. Here are the excerpts.
Q: How to pursue sports professionally along with maintaining good academic record?
Gilchrist: Colleges, in Australia, offer structured programmes and help strike a balance between academics and sports, such programs are benefiting many Indian immigrants studying in Australia now. It is also important to play sports throughout your adolescent years to help tackle various problems in adulthood. At the age of 17, I was offered scholarship to play cricket in England. Fortunately, my parents were supportive.
Q: What difference did you (John Gloster) notice while working with the Australian Team and the Indian Team?
Gloster: Well, the major thing I noticed while working with these teams was the fitness level. While the Asian teams like India had technically gifted players, they lacked fitness. The Indian team back in 2005 were technically very gifted but were no athletes. We had to change this and over time you can see the difference with India producing athletes like Kohli, Rahane, Pandya and many others. The Australian team were athletes but needed technical assistance in their game.
In the 1980's era, India and Pakistan dominated the Hockey Field for decades but as soon as the game shifted from Grass to Astro Turf, these countries were put off the map due to lack of speed and fitness in their game.
As the interactive session progressed Adam Gilchrist alluded to the changes he witnessed since his first visit to India which was 21 years ago during Australia's tour of India. He was fascinated by the infrastructure and the facilities under which sports and education are developing within the country and believes that Indian students pursuing higher education here and in sports driven countries like Australia prove to be vital in making this country the next centre for major sporting events.
Gilchrist is also a key figure in taking forward the bilateral sports partnership between India and Australia. The partnership was launched earlier this year by the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and India's Sports Minister Vijay Goel at which KOOH Sports shared its flagship technology platform – the Excalibur app.