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Ever since I could walk and run, I was in love with outdoor sports. It wasn't until a neighbour told me about a fun-filled event happening at Kolkata Maidan during the winter holidays that my life changed. That event was Jungle Crows Rugby camp back in 2008.READ MORE
I was raised in a simple and humble family of five. My father works as a sweeper and my mother is a housewife. From a young age, my parents taught me the importance of living happily with very basic amenities.
Ever since I could walk and run, I was in love with outdoor sports. It wasn't until a neighbour told me about a fun-filled event happening at Kolkata Maidan during the winter holidays that my life changed. That event was Jungle Crows Rugby camp back in 2008.
The camp was a life-changing experience for me. I was a very shy kid, and I barely had any friends. That camp taught me to open up a bit, have fun, and learn a new sport. The coaches were very caring and made sure that everyone had a lot of fun, ate well, and stayed hydrated. After the camp, I had almost 30 new friends and we thoroughly enjoyed each other's company.
I would attend every Jungle Crows Academy session which was initially held near the Calcutta Rangers Club. It was even more fun during the monsoons because we would all be covered in thick muck, even my mother’s scolding would not hamper my enthusiasm. After all these years, my mother has also understood the role that rugby played in my upbringing.
Jungle Crows coaches who are always emphasized on fitness, discipline, hard work, respect and being punctual for every session. The values I learnt back in 2008 have imbibed in me till this very day. All the coaches of the Jungle Crows were amazing and always pushed me to achieve my best on and off the field.
I attended Khelo sessions from 2010-11. At the Crows academy, I continued to work very hard to improve my game and physical fitness. I also realized that the food I eat played an important role in my health. I stayed away from junk food, oily food and consumed very little sugar. Till today I avoid tea.
I played for the Hazards for 2 seasons, 2012 and 2013. We had a great group of players who did exceedingly well and we even managed to defeat some seasoned teams in the Calcutta cup and other rugby tournaments which we played in.
I was very nervous and it was the first time I was leaving my home in Kolkata to go to another place. My team mates assisted me to get my passport done in a short span of time. The India camp was very good and I made it to the Indian National U-19 rugby team. It was a huge achievement for me and it felt really great to get all the encouragement and positive wishes from my team mates of the Hazards, Jungle Crows and Paul sir.
Wearing the India jersey for the first time and listening to the national anthem being played gave me goosebumps. 2014 was the year when things picked up more for me and I was assuming more serious roles as a rugby player and coach.
I loved working with children and it was a very good life opportunity for me. I took it up with full heart and till this day continue to work in the many communities of Khelo Kolkata spreading the joy of rugby. In 2014, I achieved another personal dream and milestone by making it into the Jungle Crows team. All my role models like Tudu da and Zaffar da played for the Crows and it was a dream for me to represent the Crows team. I continue to represent the Crows and the National team.
In India, playing for the Jungle Crows, we are privileged to have a very well-maintained rugby pitch in the centre of Kolkata at the Maidan. I guess a major part of why we continue to produce good players every year is because of the good facility that we have at our disposal.
Becoming a community coach is the best thing that has happened in my life. I get to spread smiles to thousands of children which is a very nice feeling. Being a coach is a very big responsibility as I have to keep learning new things and develop my own self in order to assist another person to do better. I strongly believe that every person is capable of achieving any goal in their life if they work hard and are sincere in their dedication towards achieving the goal.
There are other important components that makes one a good player. One has to respect your team mates, rugby is a team sport. If you learn to play and work together as a team, then only can your team win laurels. I have literally grown up with rugby and I strongly feel that as many children as possible should have the chance to grow up with rugby.
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