Sunday, November 02, 2014

Be The One

Shouvik Bhattacharya (PGDM 2014), relives his passion for Table Tennis by becoming a Coach.

"I was born and brought up in Dhanbad where I completed my schooling at De Nobili School. Post this, I moved to Kolkata where I completed my Computer Science engineering at the Institute of Engineering & Management in 2010. I then worked with TATA Consultancy Services as a Systems Engineer.

Currently I am pursuing PGDM and specializing in Information Management. I aspire to take up a general management role at a top multinational firm after completion of the course.

More than a decade ago, the game of table tennis attracted me a lot. The solitary board in my school was the one place I ran towards every time there was a break between classes. A small racket and a desire to enjoy can make you do amazing this with the 40mm ball. It wooed me. I started travelling 15kms for professional guidance and with a bat worth Rs 150; I managed to reach the semi-final of my district competitions. Better bat and better coaching would bring better results. But this was not to be. I met with an accident and injured my hand. A deep lesion in my right hand ensured that I couldn’t hold a table tennis bat. It brought an anti-climactic end to my love story.

A decade later I found myself traipsing in a local Table tennis competition for kids sponsored by my company. I saw kids giving their best there - I could immediately relate to the happiness they felt, when they won a point. It hit me; I had to come back to the arena. If not for me, but for those kids who like me wished to succeed in this sport. I started playing 5 days a week for a year and was accepted as the assistant coach in East Calcutta District Sports Council.

The aim was simple. Helping the kids realize their potential in table tennis. There is a lack of facilities for training which I faced as a kid which the kids today are still facing, and I invested heavily to get these facilities. I even got a few sponsorships which helped me buy state of the art robots for my club. There were umpteen challenges. The parents find it hard to allow their kids to play for long hours because they think it would affect their grades. Convincing them and then making sure the kids turn up, is a challenge in itself. But a few rounds of practice is all I need to make them fall in love with this game. I started originally with eight kids aged between 8-13 year and all of them today have reached different levels in West Bengal table tennis State tournaments and two of them have represented West Bengal in Indian National Zonals .

The smile of these kids, the praise of those proud parents who trusted me and table tennis itself has made me fall in love again and this time it is even better. I vow to make them better individuals and help them attain all the success they deserve.

The highlight of my SPJIMR career would definitely would be the moment when I represented my college for Deloitte – Maverick BE THE ONE challenge and emerged victorious in it.

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