Pradeep Pattanayak

Budding athletes of Jaraka area in Jajpur district are a happy lot these days, thanks to the free coaching they are receiving from a foreign coach. 

Malaysian coach Simon Lau is on a visit to Odisha. He is imparting training to athletes in rural areas. And it seems the athletes of Jaraka area don’t want to miss the golden opportunity to learn the important tricks from Lau which will be instrumental in shaping their career in athletics. 

Braving the chill, aspiring athletes including children are coming to Kalpataru Das Stadium at Jaraka early in the morning every day. They say their determination to become a successful athlete and coach Lau’s training has been driving them to the stadium. 

“He is giving us tips on perfect warm-up, stretching and techniques of hurdles and gymnasium. We have noticed the improvement we have achieved during these days. We are happy with the training he has been imparting to us,” said Pallabi Deuri, an aspiring young athlete. 

Throwing more light on the ongoing coaching session, athlete Saraswati Chand said, “There are more talents in rural areas than in urban areas. Our aim is to identify these hidden talents and prepare them to be good athletes for Odisha. This is why we have invited Lau sir. He has been giving training to aspiring athletes free of cost. He is also providing instruments/equipment to them from his own pocket.”

Lau is grounding the young athletes on running, high jump, shotput throw and javelin throw. 

“We have plenty of athletes in villages. But we don’t have coach. So we will need to hire more coaches to guide these young athletes. They are also very happy. We are motivating them and doing good job in helping guide these young athletes,” said Saimon Lau. 

(Reported by Gulam Goss from Jajpur, OTV)

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