The small town of #Palakkad #Kerala state may be one of the biggest contributors to #Indian #Athletics. It’s a town predominantly know for its large expanse of rice fields and farming community. In the past athletes like Valsamma, PT Usha have trained here and succeeded. Recently PU Chitra bought laurels to this small town. Many children here look upon these heroes as they train daily.
Recently Palakkad got it’s own first synthetic athletic track and provided a field where young athletes could be groomed better. Several promising athletes are in training in this otherwise rustic, tucked away place. Athletes who’ve successfully represented India at the Asian and Olympic level belong here and have trained here.
Most of these athletes use what is locally available in terms of facilities, gears, coaches to train themselves. The fact that until recently they didn’t even have a change room where they could change themselves into or out of the sports gear after coming from their schools or colleges speaks volumes of the lack of a system in place. Many are from very humble backgrounds. Driven by the need to succeed, as it’s very often the only glimmer of hope from poverty.
Things are changing though. Changing rapidly. As I train and interact with these children while setting up my Sports Injury Clinic here, I realise a renewed vigour in children, coaches and parents where they are unafraid to take up their needs with local authorities and get it done.
With more training facilities promised and the track and field itself being in the process of a long overdue upkeep and upgrade as I type this, it is certain that with children in #India taking to #Sports early and training intensively , #Pediatric #SportsInjuries will become more common. Though there is difference in the pattern of these injuries from those in the west, nonetheless, these required specialised care.
Just in last week I have examined and treated children with old hamstring tears who’ve not rehabilitated well, old ankle injuries with pain, back pain due to stress and renal calculi as a result of training in summer heat with very poor hydration. None of these children received adequate on field or off field medical attention. All of them were not aware of the type of injury they are having and its potential for causing premature career collapse.
I have realised that along with adequate sports injury prevention counselling, these children require counselling for sports nutrition and diet tailored to the sports they are participating. It is sad that while these could be given, not many maybe able to afford such a nutrition on daily basis. Mr. Haridas the coach of the Olympic Athletic Club here at Palakkad is so kind. Everyday he brings these kids mangoes from his farm. It’s little things like these that bind the coaches, parents and kids together and goes beyond simple trainer-trainee contract. The fact that he does this training free of charge is really something laudable.
This is the story of sports in India….
We need better facilities, coaching , gears but most importantly these children need better nutrition. They also need better awareness of injuries as they push themselves to greater heights.