In India, a teacher is entitled as a ‘Guru’. A Guru – who shapes our lives and gives direction to our dreams. They are the backbones and sculptors of today’s heroes. The world knows and applauds for these athletes and they have done India proud on various occasions. They are where they are today, because of their sheer hard work, and the constant yet silent support of their coaches. Here are 5 coaches who have made these athletes the best in their respective sports today.
Ramakant Achrekar – Sachin Tendulkar
The legend who gave us the ‘God’ of cricket. Achrekar sir as Sachin calls him, was the first to identify Sachin’s talent. They would train for hours, go to various maidans in Mumbai, and destroy the opposition team! As the tale goes, Achrekar sir would place a coin on the stumps, and if a bowler could get Sachin out, he got to keep the coin, if not Sachin could have it. Till date, Sachin cherishes the 13 coins that he has collected over the years. Apart from Sachin, he also trained Vinod Kambli, Ajit Agarkar, Pravin Amre, and Sanjay Bangar.
Pullela Gopichand – Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu
Standing tall behind these two world champions, Pullela Gopichand is also one of the greatest badminton players in history. After retiring from his badminton career, he took upon grooming upcoming talent by building a coaching academy. And to fuel this dream, he even went to the extent of mortgaging his own house. It is because of his undying effort that his academy has given the world state of art players like Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu, who went on to win Olympic medals and Parupalli Kashyap, and Kidambi Srikanth who qualified for Olympic quarterfinals.
Imran Mirza – Sania Mirza
Sania Mirza is a household name in India. She was 6 when her father took her to the tennis court for the first time. Her dad and coach, Imran Mirza has been the anchor in her life, keeping her strong and focused. Being a woman athlete is not easy in India, and she faced a lot of backlash in terms of sexism, communalism, and even nationalism on multiple occasions. In times like these, Imran Mirza always backed her up and with his help, Sania could evade all hurdles and come out on top. She has worked with many other coaches when need be, however, her father has always been the guiding light.
Gurbaksh Singh Sandhu – Vijender Singh
He is the longest-serving Indian national boxing coach. Gurbaksh Singh Sandhu started off in the year 1993 as a coach of the Indian team. He has a degree in boxing coaching from the National Institute of Sports in Jalandhar, and his contribution to Indian boxing is unparalleled with three of his mentees reaching the 2008 Olympics, and one amongst them, Vijender Singh, won the Bronze medal. It was under his mentorship that 8 boxers qualified for the 2012 Olympics, the most in India’s history.
L lbomcha Singh – MC Mary Kom
The man who groomed one of the best woman boxers in our country, L lbomcha was himself a National Games gold medalist in 1981. After he could not represent India at the President’s cup, he decided that he will help others achieve what he could not, and thus started training the boxers in Manipur. Along with Mary Kom, he has also trained Asian Games gold medalist Dingko Singh.
We cannot thank all of them enough. They have changed the world of sports for us, and have given birth to those heroes, who are inspiring millions and putting India on the world map today.
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