The dream-eyed students of Swami Ram Tirath Public School in Mohali listened in rapt attention as PT Usha,considered one of the greatest Indian athletes of all time,walked to the mud track and taught them how to get maximum speed and lift at the take-off.
Last year,when Usha had visited Chandigarh in search of talented athletes under a unique talent hunt platform called “Speedstar,” she had created quite a buzz among the aspiring athletes in the tricity. Today,it was a chance for these athletes to get tips from the very best in the business.
For about an hour,Usha,49,demonstrated how to run and make a good start. “Make sure that you never look down while starting the race. Also,don’t lose your concentration; run on the toes and never on your heels and ensure that you don’t make a false start,” were some of the tips that Usha shared with the students. She also suggested that the students should race five minutes daily and gradually increase the timing to ten minutes and then keep increasing the duration.
The idea was to motivate kids and encourage schools to take part in athletics,and generate interest and awareness for the most natural form of sport- running.
Usha,the brand ambassador of Kooh Sports,who has launched a talent hunt to identify talented athletes,has visited different cities in the past one year.
There was participation from more than 10000 students spread across 12 cities in India – Mumbai,Navi Mumbai,Bangalore,Hyderabad,Chennai,Delhi,Chandigarh,Lucknow,Kolkata,Pune,Ahmedabad and Sonepat. Students,both boys and girls,from any school were invited to participate in three age categories- Under 12,14 and 16 for a 100 meter sprint.
The six finalists got an opportunity to train with Sharon Hannan (Sports Credentials) in Australia for one week. Hannan,one of the most successful athletics coaches in Australia with more than 20 years of experience,is coaching for track and field events.
She is responsible for recognising and nurturing the talent of World Champion and Olympic gold medalist 100m runner,Sally Pearson.