Sports: Dribblers he trains bring laurels to nation, state
May 12, 2012
GND Stadium: There are a few sportspersons, who are a walking school in themselves, just because of the experience they have in their respective sport. Sankaran Subramanian, 74, is one such person, who has nourished a five-decade-long relationship with basketball and continues to train talented players till date.
Subramaniam has been training the players of Ludhiana Basketball Academy (LBA) for last 12 years at Guru Nanak Dev Stadium. LBA has produced more than 20 international players under his training.
He says he joined Indian Air Force in 1958 and served till 1973. "In 1962, I was sent to Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) on deputation and during that period, I used to play basketball with some of the American pilots who were visiting India,'' says Subramaniam.
After improving his game with the skills he learned from the Americans, Subramaniam applied for a coach certification course from National Institute of Sports and completed it in 1968. Once certified as an NIS coach, Subramaniam trained the IAF team until he retired.
After his retirement, he took up the responsibility of coaching the senior and junior teams of his native state Tamil Nadu, sometimes extending his support to rural schools voluntarily.
Born and brought up in Tamil Nadu, Subramaniam came to NIS, Patiala, in 1973 and retired from the organization as a director, training, in 1998. In 1974, he had visited Germany for a year-long advanced coaching course, winning a gold medal upon its completion and later, did his doctorate in sports psychology from Germany in 1987. Subramaniam was also among the coaches who trained the national team during 1982 Asian games.
"Many of the teams I trained were recognized nationally. Even the junior boys team at LBA I am training now is the undisputed champion at the state level for last nine years,'' says Subramaniam, adding, " Ludhiana is one of the best cities to play basketball and has a treasure of talent to be tapped.''
Even at this age, it wouldn't be easy to beat Subramaniam on the court, as he dribbles and dodges with the energy and agility of a young man.
His family stays in Patiala, but Subramaniam rarely parts from his first love for basketball, to visit them.