*Wushu star chooses State over money
Jammu, Aug 28: The sons of the soil, Surya Bhanu Partap Singh and Kuldeep Handoo, have not only made the State of Jammu and Kashmir but the entire nation proud by shinning in the ongoing Asian Games 2018, being held at Jakarta in Indonesia. Bhanu clinched bronze medal in these prestigious Games in the discipline of Wushu, while Handoo was the Chief Coach of the Indian Wushu team, which fetched historical 4 bronze medals in this event.
The star duo in an exclusive interview with Excelsior threw light on the sports scenario in J&K and talked about the Sports Policy of the State.
Excelsior: You have created history by becoming the first sportsperson from Jammu and Kashmir to win a medal in Asian Games. How do you feel?
Bhanu: I feel ecstatic rather blissful. It was simply a dream come true for me as I stood to the expectations of my coach and my parents to win a medal in these Games.
Excelsior: What are your future plans?
Bhanu: There are no specific future plans for me at this time. However, after consulting my coach, I will concentrate on my fitness in the off season and will focus on the forthcoming Asian Wushu Championship and the World Cup to fetch medals for my country and the State as well.
Excelsior: To whom you attribute your success and who are your role models?
Bhanu: Apart from my coach and my parents, I attribute my success to the office bearers of Wushu Association of J&K including Ranjeet Kalra, Vijay Saraf and Deepak Handa. I would like to extend my special thanks to Mr Handoo and Kalra for serving me as beacon lights to guide and goad me even in the adverse situations.
Excelsior: Why you chose individual sport rather than a team game?
Bhanu: It was my coach, Handoo Sir and my father Balkar Singh (former ace Wrestler) who inspired me to play Wushu rather than a team game. Handoo sir has the honour of emerging National Champion in Wushu for many years and his style and skill has lured lots of children towards this game and I was one of them.
Excelsior: You have the distinction of producing international stuff from J&K? What is your mantra to produce quality players?
Handoo: There is no magic wand or any special mantra with me to produce International stuff, but it is the sincerity and discipline of the players like Bhanu and likes which has made me a good coach and helped me to produce good stuff. You know, the players need a sheer-dint of hard work and dedication to excel in sports and games, while the coaches are the one who channelize their energy and dynamism in a positive direction. Expecting producing quality players without their cooperation is to cry for the moon.
Excelsior: Your four students were in the semifinals at the Asian Games but ended in the losing side to settle for bronze. What in your opinion was the reason for that?
Handoo: You know, Wushu is a combat sport, so uncertainties are part and parcel of it and the game is highly prone to injuries. All of my semifinalists were injured before or during the semifinals. Especially, Bhanu’s gold or a silver was a certainty (had he not been injured), because of the fact that he had defeated his counterpart in the PARS Cup earlier. For that matter, making it to the last four stage was itself an achievement.
Excelsior: It is learnt that you suffered an injury during semifinals at Asiad. Was it the injury which forced you to settle for a bronze?
Bhanu: Surely. I got it during the fight.
Excelsior: What in your opinion are the requisite measures to produce quality sportspersons from the State.
Handoo/Bhanu: To produce quality players you need a quality infrastructure. Our state is striving hard to crave a space on the country’s sports map. I feel pleasure in extending thanks to the Governor and his Advisor K Vijay Kumar for taking extraordinary measures with regard to promotion of games and sports in the State. One gets a feeling that the way they are handling the sports field, the time is not far away to see standard sports infrastructure developed in nooks and corners of the state. The backing of the office bearers of Wushu Association to the players is always a step forward in producing quality stuff.
Excelsior: Any message for young sportspersons?
Bhanu/Handoo: Shun bad habits to not to derail from the mainstream and be goal oriented. Be disciplined, determined, dedicated and devoted. Rest your gurus in order to flourish at all levels.
Excelsior: Please comment on J&K Sports Policy?
Handoo/Bhanu: You know, our state is yet to have a concrete Sports Policy. However, the time is ripe to frame a comprehensive Sports Policy in J&K analogous to that of Haryana and such other states, which have a big name and fame at the national and international scene. Such states prioritise the medal winning sports disciplines and provide handsome cash prizes and other perks to ace sportspersons. J&K has a very good standard in some sports disciplines which include Wushu also.
Excelsior: It is learnt that you will be recommended for the post of DySP. Your comment?
Bhanu: I felt ecstatic when I got to know that J&K Police Department will be recommending my name for the post of DySP. The credit of consideration of name goes to my coach and my parents, who have made me eligible for such recognition. I was offered a handsome contract by other states including Haryana, but my coach advised me to stay in J&K and bring laurels for it. And I chose my State over money. I will leave no stone unturned in bringing laurels for Jammu and Kashmir. I would love to extend thanks to the J&K Police Department and Wushu Association of J&K for always patting and promoting me.