Get Splash Go!

It’s that time of the year again when splashes, kicks and whistles are heard from the swimming pool as the aquatics contingent of KGP gears up for its biggest challenge – the inter-IIT aquatics meet. The last three years have been nothing short of a dream for our swimmers as they have bagged the golden shield on each occasion. Striving to live up to similar high expectations this year, these assiduous athletes are pulling out all stops to make sure that they come out on top once again albeit the absence of a coach and the graduation of more than half the team.

TSA brings you an inside scoop of the happenings at the pool.


“We need a coach!”

Expectations were high that the team would get a new coach at the start of this semester but events like convocation and the appointment of a new Director have delayed this further. Nevertheless, the team is not compromising on their training schedule. Quoting Dushyant Mishra, a 3rd year student who is striving to make his inter-IIT aquatics debut – “We are having much more extensive practice this time compared to previous years. However, a nagging problem is the absence of a qualified referee when we practice amongst ourselves; it’s left to the few senior members of the team to settle issues.”  It will surely be a pity if the inefficient PTI selection process for coaches leads to the aquatics team missing out on silverware this year.


Starting from Scratch

Another setback for the team is that 8 of its 11 members graduated last year. This leaves the team with just 3 senior members of which only captain Shreyas Mahajan (5th year architecture) has played more than 2 inter-IITs. Thus, the onerous task of handling the entire preparation scheme falls on these few seniors. 554543_3273039005286_312400040_nThis concern is vindicated by Shreyas - “Till last year Darshan (Varrier) was in charge so I didn’t have to worry too much about taking care of the team. He had plenty of help with 8 senior members so if he was not able to attend practice because of his commitments, one of the other senior members would take over. Unfortunately, this year I don’t have too many senior members to rely on.” In a nutshell, KGP’s aquatics team has been transformed from a star ensemble to a lot of new and inexperienced faces.


One more Pool!

State of the art lights have been provided in the swimming complex, but the fact that the campus has only one pool is definitely a crunch matter. IIT Bombay has 2 pools, despite having a smaller campus and a smaller strength. This skewed proportionality in KGP is elucidated by Shreyas:

“It is very difficult for someone to make it into the inter IIT team if he/she isn’t a good swimmer from the get go, given the amount of time an average person gets in the pool. The construction of another pool will go a long way to help new swimmers get enough practice to make it into the team. Plus, KGP also has a number of talented post graduate swimmers who miss out on practice simply due to their hectic work schedules. An extra pool will also alleviate this trivial reason for them not practicing.”


Indraneil Hatai, who was one of the General Secretary Sports last year, realised this problem and supported the aquatics team in performing the relevant procedures to bring it to the notice of the administration. However, no light can be seen on the horizon as of now. As Vinayak puts it – “Agreed, the lack of another pool is not the biggest problem in our hands right now. But the existing pool was built at a time since when the campus population has more than doubled, so it’s not surprising that one pool feels inadequate.


What about the Girls?

We caught up with A.M.Aishwarya, a 2nd year student who has a good chance of making it into this year’s team. According to her, there is more uniformity between boys and girls this year as compared to the last as far as workouts and practice sessions are concerned. Her main complaint is regarding the practice time slots – “Girls don’t swim so much. I used to go in the morning and there would be just a few people learning. Even the slots are very inconvenient; from 6-7 in the morning and 4-5 in the evening. No one wants to wake up that early and we usually have classes till 5:30 pm. We can have something like a pool just for competitive swimming and another one solely for learning purposes. That way, even girls can have a convenient time slot and improve their strokes.”

Like so many other sportswomen on campus, she vehemently supports having more inter-hall sports for girls as a means of practice and motivation to play in the inter-IITs. She also highlights the importance of combining the women and men’s team practice sessions. In her words:

“Mixing slots might help. This way the girls can get acquainted with the guys and won’t mind even if it’s just them swimming alone. It helps a lot; they give me tips on improving strokes, none of which happened last year when I barely knew anyone.”


Expectations and Looking Ahead

The absence of a coach along with the exodus of 8 senior swimmers from the team will most likely prove to be an insurmountable setback to bagging the top prize. Shreyas plays it safe when he says - “It’s difficult to assess our exact chances this year. We might get one podium position in all the events. But we will make sure that medal or no medal, we give it our all.” However, one must take into account that this is a fresh but talented squad and with proper practice and skill development they are bound to match up to the impeccable record set for them by their seniors.

We, at The Scholars’ Avenue, wish the team the very best and hope to see the gold rush continue!


Water Polo

1 Comment

  1. Pahun Jain says:

    All the best team, another month to go. Give it you best. Mahajan, Vinayak, Shashwat, Vaishali, don’t let us d(r)own. :) Have and will always fight against all odds, all the very best again. :)

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