Hand eye co-ordination with hopscotch. Hyperactivity cured with roller skating. Sports have always had holistic advantages and this summer is brimming with possibilities if you know where to look. If your little one is unsure which sport to give a go during the holidays, there are a host of options to try out and to choose from. Considering most of them are buried in the books and stuck to their screens on other days, summer mornings and evenings are great times to send them outdoors and teach them the joy of taking part in a game or a sport.
Hyderabad has especially been the hub of sports in the country. World renowned tennis star currently ranked No. 1 in the women’s doubles rankings, Sania Mirza, never fails to talk about how the city has nurtured her career. Saina Nehwal, the first Indian to win a medal in badminton at the London Olympics credits the city and her coaches. And of course Hyderabad is home to cricket legends like Azharuddin and VVS Lakshman. Every sporting star has proved the city does have a sporty tag.
Now the same stars are giving back to the city with their academies. Sania and Gopichand have established world class academies. While Sania’s boasts of plexi-paved tennis courts of Grand Slam standard, Gopichand’s second training academy has courts which can be moved in different directions. A look at some interesting summer camps that youngsters can get trained in the city.
Anup Kumar Yama, artistic roller skating
Where: West Marredpally
Road No. 7 and Decathlon Store at Kompally
When: May 1, 17 and 24
How would you like it if your kid gets trained under a coach who has trained Deepika Padukone? Well, artistic roller skater Anup Kumar Yama, 30 years, has bagged 100 gold medals in Roller Skating, 10 in Ice Nationals, 10 Asian Golds and one World Gold. An Arjuna Awardee he has his own skating school at his Marredpally home named Yama Skating Academy. He says, “At National Roller Skating Championship 2014, my students won huge chunk of medals.” He created a new method of ice skating training, Ice Simulation Method which helped the skaters of Telangana train well. Age limit: Above 3. Fee: `3,000. Details:9849169377
Where: St Andrews School, Trimulgherry Village grounds
When: April 18 onwards
If it’s football, then it has to be S Tony. The veteran coach who has been at it for the last 53 years has trained national champions Surender Kumar and Rajkumar. Tony was with the Andhra Police before he retired two decades ago and has always been in love with football ever since. He currently teaches at Trimulgherry village grounds, the city’s biggest for the game. “I don’t charge a penny. Anyone below 18 years can walk into the ground in shorts and sports shoes, pick up a ball and start playing,” says Tony. As there are no changing rooms, Tony hasn’t really trained girls but hopes to do that soon. The septuagenarian guru was the one who fought tooth and nail with the government and authorities to ensure that the ground that nurtures potential champions remained one dedicated to the game and not for other commercial activity. Details: 9492728100
SM Arif, badminton
Where: Indoor Stadium, Hafeezpet
When: April 16 (45-day camp)Ever thought summer camps can make you a champ? Pullela Gopichand, Parupali Kashyap and Saina Nehwal are all successful badminton prodigies who were discovered by SM Arif during summer camps. Says the Dronacharya awardee, “We select a few students after the summer camp and train them on a regular basis. For this we would also want to know if the parents want their children to get engaged in a sport on a full-time basis.” The 72-year-old former national chief badminton coach says this year the summer camp will start on April 16 and would go on for 45 days. The badminton coaching is open for children below 14 years. “The training programme will focus on coaching the children to handle the grip, shuttle throw action, wall hitting practice, run and hit on the court and foot movements,” says the Padma Shri awardee. Fee: `2,250. Timings: 6 am – 8 am. Details: 7036140536
Suheim Sheikh, yachting
Who wouldn’t want to sail in the heart of the city, more so if it is Hussain Sagar? Go to Yacht Club of Hyderabad for sailing high. An IIT Chennai alumni, Suheim left the world of engineering to pursue his passion of sailing. The club trains economically deprived children like 12-year-old Hyderabadi kid Leela Sagar who brought Telangana its first gold medal in Sub Junior National Yachting Championship in 2015. Suheim trained him for the sport. Says Suheim, “We teach kids to overcome their fear and inculcate sportsmanship in them.” No wonder again this winter Rishab Nayar of Telangana Sailing Association and a member of the Yacht Club of Hyderabad won Gold at the Youth Nationals and Silver at the India International Regatta. Age limit of kids who learn sailing is above eight. Fee: `5,000 for the first course and 9,000 for the next. Details: 8885062220
Prof. Siddiq Mahmoodi, martial arts
When: April to June
If Rocky Balboa was a movie character, then Siddiq Mahmoodi is surely a real life James Bond. He is the first Indian to introduce martial arts in India. Although he started with Judo, he moved to martial arts and pursued it in Japan. The regional director for Spochan, a Martial Arts academy in Japan, Mahmoodi has gained prominence in the Samurai solo. It was under his guidance that India registered its first team of Martial arts at the Asian Games in 2014. Rolling his experience of more than 35 years, the front man of Golden Dragons in India says, “We teach everything from solo acts to self defence techniques. Our focus is on defending with special attacking moves. We also demonstrate and train women in self defence without the need for any equipment.”
No age limit. Rs 1,500 per month. Details: 9885044250
Think tennis and the image of Sania Mirza pops up. The Wimbledon champion started her own academy SanQia Mirza Tennis Academy (SMTA) in the city outskirts in March 2013. The academy was built with a motive to provide world class tennis training to Indian players and aspirants. Training here is also a hunt for fresh talent. Children who are talented yet underprivileged are given training at zero expense. The academy has nine plexi- paved tennis courts of Grand Slam standards, well equipped gym etc. “Sania herself teaches her students when is in town,” says the academy. There is no age limit, but the admissions are divided into three categories – beginners, intermediate and pro. Depending on how many years you have played tennis he/she would be guided into one of these categories. Fee: Differs according to the category.Details: 9985531397 .
— with inputs from Saima Afreen and Nishad Neelambaran
What sport is best?
? Get your child assessed by a coach for their talent
? Make it a point to ask what his or her interest is
? Zero in on classes that are nearby for a more sustainable commitment to practice sessions
? Think long and hard about the scope of the sport in India, in terms of recognition, and thereby whether
it is worth your time in order to pursue professionally
(R Natarajan, founder of the India Sport Promotion Academy)