images/articles/s5_nd_2.jpgI am not new to running. All my childhood I used to run, not only running from school to home, but generally to improve my stamina to play Badminton. I used to run, in my village's field hockey ground, early in the morning with my friends. Then in College, I ran with my teammates in D.M. College Moga corridors in the early hours of the day and later used to run from Khalsa College Gurusar Sudhar to Mullanpur and then in Chandigarh (these are the names of places in Punjab India, simply). After that I came to Canada and now I run on the trails of Beautiful British Columbia. My point is, I am not new to running. But, when I met Fauja Singh in Surrey International World Music Marathon couple of weeks ago, Running got a whole new meaning for me, and for thousands of others who came to participate in this beautiful event. I have never seen Fauja Singh before, and before heading to interview him, I was thinking he will be very old and will speak very slowly and two people will be supporting while he walks out of his car. But I was wrong, at 101 he look like a boy, charming and full of humour. We interviewed him for about 20 minutes and he was very excited and told us about his life experiences of a century, he told us about his childhood and his roots in the villages of Punjab. He is a very proud Punjabi Sikh, who is now a torch bearer for millions of people around the world, as he ran many 42 kilometre marathons. He started running when he was 82 years old and took it professionally when he was 89 years. He held five world records for his age group, in the events of 100 metres in 23.14, 200 metres in 52.23, the 400 metres in 2:13.48, the 800 metres in 5:32.18, the 1500 metres in 11:27.81, the mile in 11:53.45, the 3000 metres in 24:52.47 and the 5000 metres in 49:57.39. He ran London marathon, five times, Toronto twice and New York once.
Fauja Singh is a vegetarian, and run for PITA. He says the secret of his long healthy life is belongs to God's wish, after that it is running and eating little vegetarian food at his age. He says everyone should eat what he ate while growing up, because our bodies are made of all the food we ate in our past. He says, he can't eat western food, he simply eat dal, roti, dahi, lassi, all traditional Punjabi food. But he adds that running is the most important thing to him. He started running after the death of his wife and his son. He says it was the will of God that took everything from him and then again it was God's wish to introduce him to running and he gets blessed with long healthy life, where he can teach others who are in pain or suffering. He says, we should accept whatever comes to us in life, be at peace and do good things yourself and be a light-source for others to follow.
images/articles/s5_nd_1.jpgArjan Bhullar is going to London Olympics this summer. He won the FILA Pan American Olympic Games, held in US last month. He went with team Canada to Florida for the tournament, and won his two matches. He won his first match against Venezuelan wrestler and the next one was with a Mexican wrestler.
He joined the other wrestlers from Canada who are going to the Olympics. Already four women wrestlers are qualified and five spots are earned by men. There are still two spots available to grab, the next chance will come in China on April 27-29 and in Finland will host a tournament from May 4-6.
Punjabi Sports did an exclusive interview with Arjan; he told us that he is very proud to qualify for London Olympics. He is preparing very hard for many years and won numerous awards, but to qualify for the big games is a great joy for him. He thinks he has achieved his goal to qualify, but now the next goal is to win an Olympic Gold medal. Only one wrestler from Canada have ever won a gold medal in the Olympics in wrestling is Daniel Igali, he won the medal in 2000 Sydney Australia. Now Arjan is focusing on the medal, he have the same coaches, same environment, he thinks he is in the right place at the right time. But he says that to win an Olympic gold is a big task. He has to put his best effort of his life in the competition. There are best of the best wrestlers from around the world, and Arjan believes that he have everything in place to beat anyone on this stage, instead everyone at this stage can win the gold medal. So, the competition is hard, the cream of wrestling community will be there, Arjan has his family, coaches, team mates and a whole community with will wishes around him.
“I will put my best performance on the mat, after commonwealth games gold, to qualify for Olympics was my biggest goal. Truthfully, its last year of competition, last four years since I didn’t make it to Beijing Olympics in 2008 and 25 years of my training, 25 years of life experience on the mat got me ready for that one moment. This was not only my win it’s everybody’s win who is helping me out, my family, my coaches and my team mates. Especially I want to thank my mom, she helped me a lot through tough times, and she always gets me through”.
Wrestling is a tough sport. If anyone wants to be a successful wrestler, everything has to be right. To go to a higher level you need Family support, peaceful household, physically, mentally and spiritually right, not only on the day you compete, but overall.
Many of his peers called and congratulate him and are feeling, that Arjan’s qualification to the Olympics makes easier for them too, they are looking up to him and he is feeling lucky to be that guy. He says anyone can do it; you just need to follow what you really want to do. He says that his family supported him, not forced him. And this is a very good point he raised, he advice parents, not to push their kids into what they want. Instead parents should allow their kids to follow their own dreams and be helpful to achieve their goals.
“Wrestling is the toughest sport. After wrestling life is easy”.
He is a proud Sikh, and is very happy to represent Sikh community on the world stage. He is competing on August 11th he has all his matches on the same day. He invites everyone to come to London to watch him wrestle and support him, if you can’t go to the games, watch it on television. Omni Television is making arrangements to broadcast the wrestling matches live on Television all across Canada, more information will be given in the coming weeks. Punjabi Sports Television, Punjabi Sports & Fitness Magazine and our whole staff wishes best of luck to Arjan for his road to Olympic Gold Medal.
Olympics are a special event in the calendar and London is a special city on the map of the world. Very soon we will come to know what we get when we mix both of them. I am pretty sure the vibrancy of City of London and the swift uplifting spirit of Olympics will complement each other very well. The Olympic village, commissioned after London won the bid to host the Olympics, is already complete and set to impress the visitors (a good lesson for the organizers of CWG in India).
Stratford is the place in London where the Olympic stadium is built. As promised the Olympics has rejuvenated the surrounding area. Train station has been upgraded and a new massive shopping mall has been opened in the vicinity of the stadium. This has given much needed economic boost to the local area and businesses.
London has a thing to prove after spectacular hosting by Beijing in 2008. Interestingly when London won the bid, the UK economy was doing very well and then recession came. Suddenly the economic climate became gloomy as big financial institutions and banks foundered all around. For a moment there were fears that it may affect the preparation of the Olympics but those were just fears as the budget for Olympics was made recession proof. Nevertheless this just proves how sensitive the world of sport is to the economic and political events. In peace sport and athlete prospers and in troubles it becomes the luxury that can be easily ignored. Luckily the City of London is regarded as a state in a state with its own pulse and forward looking attitude which would have never compromised on the standards for the sake of recession.
Significance of Olympics
Olympics mean different things to different people. For athletes it is the ultimate dream to win the gold medal and make their country proud and for spectators it's the joy of watching the best of the best competing and stretching the boundaries of what could be physically endured and achieved by human body. The bulging legs of sprinters, endurance of marathon runners, flexibility of gymnasts, focus of shooters and gravity defying skills of jumpers reminds the spectators that how amazing this human body is.
I personally had the experience of witnessing my friend preparing for shooting competition in Athens Olympics 2004 and his dedication and devotion towards his preparation was illustrious and more importantly unlike other lads of his age he was treading on a self-constructive path.
The aim of participating in Olympics brings discipline in youth and helps them to focus on positive rather than stray away aimlessly into drugs and other wrongdoings. It gives so many young people a mission to concentrate on and not to mention the hopes of coaches, friends, families and nations riding on them.
In today's world where lifestyles are becoming increasingly stationary and waistlines ever more huge and where most of the stuff is done with the touch of a finger sitting in front of the screens It has become important to support outdoor activities. And Olympics with its long illustrious and prestigious history has done so for ages and contributed in promoting good health and well-being.
The intensity and emotions of those involved in the events gives a hint of dramatic effect to Olympics. One can go through a plethora of emotions by just watching it. The tensions, stresses, anticipation, exertion, joy and ecstasy of athletes is felt by all who watches them.
The cheapest one will cost you around 20 pounds and the prices steadily increases to thousands with significance of the event and position of your seat. You can visit the official London Olympics website to register your interest in buying them. I would advise to do that as soon as possible if you are interested in coming to London for Olympics because right now the demand for them is becoming more than the supply. Also beware of the fake websites and tickets as many of them have propped up on the internet since the tickets have gone on sale.
What you can expect of London?
Apart from loads of 'Sorries' and 'Thank you's' from Londoners you can expect a warm welcome, a lavish opening and closing ceremony. London is a multi-cultural capital of the world and here you will feel home away from home. Whatever nationality you are you will find your community and food in London to relate to. It's a buzzing place with character and history where towering, symmetrical historic buildings brings delight and awe to tourists faces. There are plenty of attractions to keep you on the toe and busy while you are here. London's night life is legendary and worth trying if that's the cup of your tea.
Some interesting facts about London and Olympics:
Hardeep was born in Penticton and then moved to Surrey when he was a young boy. He started in a small Karate gym, was not very much into it. But his two uncles, Inder and Ranjeet inspired him to join in Tae Kwon Do and at the age of 13, he got help from Master Kim helped him to pick up his style. The support from his family kept him into the game and slowly kickboxing became his passion.
He trains a lot when he have a fight coming up, 4-5 hours a day, in the gym working out, practicing kicks, punches, building up his stamina , trying to figure out the mental game. His whole life revolves around the game. The first thing he schedule for the day, is what he is going to do for his sport, after that he plan his whole day around it.
One might think that a kick boxer is a person who likes to fight, not true. According to Hardeep, he is not that kind of person who likes to start fights, getting into conflicts, easy going person.
"Most people that know me, before they know that I fight and when they find out afterwards, they say that they would have never imagine that."
To be in the ring and fight is just competition for him. He never intends to hurt the other fighter, but his focus always remains to win the fight and nothing more. He and many of his opponents remains good friends outside the ring, inside is a whole different story.
If you get into a situation, where someone can hurt you physically, knowing kick boxing is the key to self defense. It’s very good for a last resort to have some sort of training to protect yourself if you have to.
Coaches and parents should make sure, when their kids are just starting in any game, to keep the activity a fun experience. If it is fun, kids will come to it, if it’s a burden, they still will be coming because you make them to, but ultimately they will drop out. As a coach, Hardeep finds it difficult to train little kids than older kids; he says “you got to keep ‘em into it. If you go on just teaching and teaching and expecting them to catch on and learn, they will probably run away real fast because they don’t feel included in what they are doing.”
Hardeep is coaching beginner and advanced kick boxing classes at Bisla Martial Arts School in Surrey BC, also he teaches young kids Tae Kwon Do.
"When I am training, it’s about me, I am pushing myself and trying to get better, I leave better than when I walked in that day. But when it comes to teaching, it’s not about me, it’s about the kids, I have to adjust myself to make it enjoyable to the kids, and teach in a way that then can learn."
Playing your favourite sport provides joy because you develop a love for that sport. Especially in the winter season when it’s icy and cold, who really wants to play outside? A lot of sports are now enjoyed inside where it’s a lot warmer and even safer for your health. Who wants to catch a cold or pick up a nasty flu riddling virus when you have the luxury of an indoor environment?
There are sports teams that are determined and strong willed that they will hold their practices outside, rain or shine. The weather in the lower mainland is unpredictable so you never know when the clouds might pop up and display a shower. There are many indoor facilities made that no matter what sport you may be participating in you will be able to play.
One of these sports is wrestling. The sport is played inside looking at many aspects of the game. Wrestling takes a lot of courage and strength to succeed so when you have a full gym to practice in, full advantage is taken. The facility has many things for example open courts to run, bike, and weight lift to build that endurance. The game of Wrestling started in India many centuries ago it is considered amongst the most prestigious and oldest games. The game of wrestling dates back to 708 BC where it was included in the Olympic Games. Even Mahabharata and Ramayana known as Indian epics have mentions of the game of Wrestling in India. Considered one of the most ancient sports, wrestling was mainly used to stay physically fit and a great way to practice military exercises without any weapons. Played inside and outdoors it has had more appeal whilst playing indoors.
The game of ball-hockey is also enjoyed inside. Indians have developed a love for the game on skates and floor. Ice-hockey is technically an indoor sport for it’s played in a man-built facility and obviously played under a roof. There is a lot of fast “racing back and forth” action and the goalie uses a glove, called a catcher sometimes to catch the shot on goal and a flat, square like mitt is used to deflect the shot. Roller hockey is a growing sport and it can be played on any dry surface which means you can play it in any leisure centre.
Basket-ball is also played in an indoor facility. We see women and men of all ages play outside in schools, local parks and even in their own backyards. There is more of an audience whilst playing inside.
Now have you ever heard of indoor cricket? It exists! It shares many of the same concepts with outdoor cricket. The game is most often played between two teams each consisting of eight players, in matches featuring two innings of sixteen 8-ball overs each. Rather than simply being played indoors, the match is played on specifically designed courts covered in an artificial surface and enclosed by tight string netting. Several versions of the game have been in existence since the late 1960s, whilst the game in its present form began to take shape in the late 1970s and early 1980s. There are some differences between playing indoor and outdoor cricket but the technique of the game is the same.
Indoor cycling is a great way to practice cycling and not be on the actual road. Vancouver is always experiencing not so favourable weather so when you don’t want to experience the rainy or gloomy weather you can cycle inside. Many equipment pieces are provided to use when using a gym like facility including stationary bikes. Features include a mechanical device to modify the difficulty of pedaling, specially shaped handlebars, and multiple adjustment points to fit the bicycle to a range of riders. Many have a weighted flywheel which simulates the effects of inertia and momentum when riding a real bicycle. The pedals are equipped with toe clips as on sports bicycles to allow one foot to pull up when the other is pushing down. They may alternatively have clip less receptacles for use with cleat cycling shoes. You can practice alone or even in classes. Cycling is a great way to keep fit in an indoor facility.
We have all heard of the sport volleyball but have you heard about wallyball? Also enjoyed played indoors, wallyball is known as rebound volleyball and it dates back to the early 1970’s. The game was called deckerball. It is very similar to the game of wallyball and could be the predecessor to the game of what is now known as wallyball. It can be played with the same number of players as in volleyball and is played in a racquetball court. Wallyball uses a modified form of rally scoring called speed scoring. A point is scored on every service up to the point where one team reaches the "freeze point." Once that occurs, a point is awarded on the next side-out and from that point on, each team must serve to score a point. The "freeze point" varies depending on the number of points needed to win a game. Maybe next time play a little wallyball?
The game of badminton can be said to be a great indoor sport. As any other sport it has it’s positives of playing outside but just as much enjoyed inside. Opposing pair or singles take their places on either side of the placed net on a rectangular court. Players score points by striking a shuttlecock (known also as shuttle is a feathered projectile) with their racquet so that it passes over the net and lands in their opponents' half of the court. Each side may only strike the shuttlecock once before it passes over the net. A rally ends once the shuttlecock has struck the floor. The sport can be dated back to the mid 18th century British India where it was created by the military officers stationed there. Each game is played to 21 points.
The game of kabaddi is also enjoyed inside with most of the practices run indoors. The practices provide great cardio and the players have a luxury of playing 6 months in India and the rest of the year somewhere else. Played professionally it provides time to travel and compete all around the world.