Video Producer: Maaz Hasan
Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma
When Neeraj Chopra won a gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on 7 August 2021 in javelin throw, that was the biggest day of my life. His glory not only brought fame and respect to India, it also gave a new life to the sport.
I have been practising javelin throw with my friend at Madhu Nagar, for almost three years. Not many people over here knew about the sport and in fact, they used to think that javelin was a stick.
“After Neeraj sir brought the medal in our sport, the importance of the game has increased. Now, people know what javelin is. Earlier everyone used to call it a stick or danda. Ever since Neeraj sir bagged the gold medal for India, the sport has got a new recognition. We also receive a different kind of respect for playing the sport.”Madhu Nagar, javelin thrower
In the last couple of months, many new athletes have started playing the sport at our Mahamaya Sports Stadium in Ghaziabad, as families have started supporting them.
“Earlier, I used to practise javelin throw in my village. I always wanted to play the sport, but everyone wanted me to study. Earlier, I used to throw a bamboo stick. My family said there is nothing much to achieve in the sport. When they saw Neeraj bhai winning the medal at the Olympics, they allowed me to play. It's been one week since I have joined training here.”Prince Kumar, javelin thrower
Since, Mahamaya Sports Stadium doesn’t have a coach to train us. So, for us it’s been very difficult to master the art of the sport.
“Without a coach, Javelin is incomplete. We look at each other, but we don’t know the nitty-gritties and thus, end up making mistakes. When we compare our videos to the ones on YouTube, we find a lot of mistakes. We are yet to figure out a way to improve our game. As we are learning a bit from our seniors at the JLN Stadium (New Delhi), and by watching Neeraj sir's videos, we get to learn various techniques and positions. We look at these things on YouTube and try to replicate them, but we are unable to learn them properly.”Madhu Nagar, Javelin Thrower
We have requested the authorities at the stadium for a coach several times, but we still haven’t got one.
Coaches in our stadium are appointed through the Uttar Pradesh Sports Department. We have sent our demands for coaches in athletics. We hope to get them soon.Poonam Vishnoi, Sports Officer, Mahamaya Sports Stadium
Till then we will continue to practise and train on our own with the help of YouTube. We hope to get a coach soon and replicate Neeraj sir’s feat.
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