TOPICS: They deserve better

During my childhood, I always thought players are the luckiest people because they got everything they wanted just by doing what they loved to do, play.

And moreover, I thought they were lucky because they didn’t have to study or complete their assignments, to go outside and play like I and most of the children of my age had to.

But as I grew up and got into the field myself one day I realized those thousands and millions of people don’t chant your name just like that, they don’t stare at the television set when you show up until and unless you are worth it.

Sirish Gurung is a shining example. Sirish started swimming since he was 5 years old and by the time he reaches his last teen year he will be standing in front of the crowd with Nepal’s flag on his chest in Rio Olympics, 2016.

At such a young age, he holds national records in 12 events out of 17 which he has broken 43 times, including the 28-year-old national record in 1500m free style. He holds the best figure in the recent national games with 17 events and 17 golds.

That is something every sportsperson dreams to achieve in a major tournament. He covers an average of 14 kilometers per day and spends most of his time in gyms and health clubs.

But looking at the equipment and pool provided for the players to prepare by the governing body it is impossible to dream that a Nepali swimmer would play in the Olympics. The players have just one pool to practice where players cannot train during winter, reducing their training periods to just 6 months a year.

In addition to this, almost 60 swimmers have to manage in 4 lanes of the pool, moreover the condition of the pool and the equipment required for the training too are not well managed.

Fan support is the backbone and the utmost motivation for the players who are giving their best day and night, preparing themselves for such major tournaments. But besides blaming the governing body and government itself, are we doing our part? Abusing players when they cannot perform is something very common that we do.

As a sports lover, I request all to support our players and teams wherever they go, no matter where they finish.

The news of team events is glorified and known to everyone in the country but there are players like Sirish Gurung who have been consistently making the nation proud in single events in all the major tournaments but is hidden somewhere inside the last pages of newspapers.