BSA GSec - Shubham Singh Rathore
Updated: Oct 31, 2022
Having so many sports to choose from, when and how could you identify your sport?
Choosing basketball was an amusing incident. Initially, my inclination was towards cricket, but my elder brother used to play basketball. One day my maternal grandfather talked to the school coach and made me sit on the bus taking me to see my brother's match. This was my first encounter with competitive basketball. I started to meeting the coach often during the school hours and pursued basketball as my main sport. Another reason was the proximity of the basketball court compared to the cricket ground- I used to bunk classes all the time and play basketball xD.
What motivated you toward basketball, as we all know how time-consuming and tiring it can get? What are the other clubs you are active in, and how were you able to manage them along?
Playing basketball is something I look up to throughout the day, and I love the adrenaline rush while playing in the tournaments. I don't think I need specific motivation as I never felt ki "Shaam ko khelna jana padega and mehnat lagegi" lol.
I wanted to join some cultural clubs and was interested in learning some musical instruments, but I had my regular institute practice starting from the first year; hence I hardly got any time to involve myself much in other clubs.
What was the most memorable moment of your basketball journey?
We were at Spardha, IITBHU and had our semi-final match with MBM JODHPUR, we were trailing by 21 points at halftime; from there onwards we turned the one-sided match to a neck-to-neck one and finally, we won! It is one of the best matches of my life.
Apart from that, the moment when we won the InterIIT final against IIT Kharagpur was very memorable. KGP being the hosts, the court has a huge crowd gathered around, and a lot anti-cheering too :P. As soon as we heard the final whistle, all the IITD contingent members came running into the court. Absolutely a moment to cherish forever!
How has your time in BSA been like, and what motivated you to be "GSec"?
The first thing I wished to associate myself with was sports, specifically basketball. I have been a part of BSA since my first year and became the sports secretary of Kumaon hostel. Unfortunately, inter-hostels were not organized during my tenure because of the pandemic scenario. But we started preparing our hostel teams when we had a slight ray of hope in January. Although it seemed a bit hectic, it felt great to take responsibility and lead my hostel, to keep track of all the sportsmen in my hostel. When I came to know that InterIIT is being organized after two long years and that too on our own home ground, I decided to contribute more to the contingent, the board and the institute by being the General Secretary.
Most of the time, people are afraid to pursue sports because of low CG. What is your opinion in that regard? Is there a minimum CG criteria you suggest a person should have before dedicating time to sports?
A critical point I would like to highlight. There are many talented students in IITD. I have been fascinated by many students with a much more difficult branch than me but still have a CGPA above 9 and come to practice regularly. I tried to analyze what they do differently, but there was nothing much than a slight difference in time management. We shouldn't compare ourselves with others as we all have our own journeys and we know about our level in sports and academics and how much work we need to put in. We should focus more on doing what suits our goals the best. In my case, I never thought of the option of giving up as I like playing basketball even when we don't have practice. It is the sport that is important to me! There's no need to impose any CG criteria as everyone should be free to play any sport. Participating in sports on a regular basis benefits us greatly in managing time, fitness and also helps us to have a proper schedule.
Playing sports comes with a lot of unforgettable moments; I haven't represented the college in many tournaments because of the pandemic, but I can still recollect so many great memories. Nobody studies throughout the day, even if they are not playing a sport, and thus, you can always take out some time for them. Also, the institute team practices are put off a week before minors and majors, and you can skip the routine if you have a quiz therefore, there is sufficient time to study. Everyone's a little worried about placements from their first year itself but as time passes; they wonder whether it really mattered in the end as everyone manages to reach somewhere but the question is all about enjoying and loving the journey!
What is your opinion on the low participation of girls and pg students in sports? How will you increase their involvement?
Girls' participation has increased in the past few years and recently "Women Football" and other sporting events for girls have been promoted. In Sportech also we organized an informal event where we organized a friendly match with a NGO Club for women's football. Steps are being taken to include Women's Football in Inter-IIT, but because of pandemic, we can't conduct women's football this year; but we have convinced everyone to work it out once the situation gets normal as a lot of IITs showed interest in women's football. We would also need coaches and proper facilities for their sports; it is not that easy as we need to carry out reasonable procedures. I plan on implementing more measures to increase girls' participation at IIT Delhi in sports during my tenure.
As for PG participation, I feel that we are lacking in awareness. Some of them are not even aware that they have the opportunity to participate and represent IIT Delhi. They think that only the undergraduates are allowed to participate and represent IIT Delhi. Some are not on Instagram, others are not on the WhatsApp group, and some are not even allotted any hostel. Hence, we plan to conduct a meeting to introduce all the boards to the PG students. BSA will implement the same measures and publicize the board to the PG students.
In your manifesto, you mentioned that you "Ensured maximum involvement of the hostel residents in sports activities and introduced the freshers to the sports culture at IITD." What is the sports culture you talk about here?
The "sports culture" is the legacy of sports at IIT Delhi and the rivalries between the hostels here. In terms of sports, the transition from school level to the college level is amazing. The amount of exposure to sports at IITD, be it equipment, proper courts and fields or the level of the game, is not the same as school level. But many students are not aware about the opportunities available here.
As a sports secretary, it was my responsibility to motivate them and give them the push to play a sport, be it from scratch. I conducted regular meetings to introduce this sports culture to my fellow hostel mates, fascinating them by telling them stories of InterIIT and inter hostels.
NSO hours have not been allowed as of now; how is that going to work?
For NSO hours, the standard procedure is to go to the field, and your RFID card is scanned and kept there. The coach records the minimum hours they have to spend on the ground, and the same is put on the server. In COVID times, we couldn't conduct any offline events; hence NSO hours were given for running through an online app. Since we are returning to normal offline activities, we will reimplement the standard procedure.
We had offline practises/competitions after so long. Do you find any difference between the offline practices /competitions we had now vs before covid 19? If yes, how do you plan to restore it?
There is a considerable gap in offline events primarily due to monetary issues because we don't have that much budget as pre-covid times. Moreover, due to covid protocols, we couldn't invite many teams to Sportech and were restricted to accommodate only the NCR institutes. Only BITS Pilani and a few teams came from outside NCR, that too on their own accommodation. In contrast, we used to provide accommodation to all groups before covid in hostels or guest houses.
There has been a gap in team level as most seniors who played InterIITs have already graduated and couldn't pass on their experience. Hence, it is like starting from scratch in many of the sports. There has been a gap in competition and the competence of players. The same gap could be seen in practices, but since a few months have passed, the performance of the teams has improved.
How do you plan to tackle overcrowding at facilities like badminton courts, gyms, squash courts, etc.?
It is a known fact that there is an overcrowding issue. Mittal complex is paid and if that was not the case then people would have gone there in their leisure time without wearing proper attire and disturbed those who have passion for the game. The institute team can play for free; all others must pay fees and book slots in advance. This is efficient in controlling overcrowding.
Even in the SAC gym, there is not enough space to accommodate all the students. Hence a fee is charged, but still, there is overcrowding. For that, I recommend that the students should start using their hostel gyms. Most people go to SAC for the guidance of the trainer but they can take advice from seniors or watch Youtube videos instead.
Inter IIT is happening in Delhi this year, and after a halt of 2 years, What plans do you have in that regard?
Winning the InterIIT GC is the main goal for me and IIT Delhi absolutely has the potential to do that. In 2018 we won the GC, while in 2019, we were the runners-up. For this goal, I am working with the captains to scout new potential members for the team and carry out rigorous practices and make students work even harder. Many of the teams have a lot of freshers, thus, they need to step up their game which will require the guidance from their seniors and coaches. Organizing the InterIIT is not an easy task, but with the help of faculty, seniors and my team, I think we will be able to organize a grand festival this year! :)
What message would you like to give to the audience?
I suggest the students who are not playing any sport to come to the fields and try any sport at least once; all those who are in doubt whether they should continue playing every day and devoting time to the sport, I request you to please continue and contribute to the institute. Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to all the players- keep grinding and keep that fire ignited for some more time and we will lift that beautiful InterIIT trophy for sure! <3
Interview By - Rudrakshi Singhal
Cover Designed By - Prisha Jain, Shivam Jhanwar