Teachers Day: Meet The Teachers Of 5 Top Sportspersons

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On the occasion of Teachers Day, we take a look at some of the best student-teacher bonds that India has witnessed over the years:

Written By Dylan Dsouza | Mumbai | Updated On:

September 5 marks the birth anniversary of  Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, who was India's first Vice President. He was one of India's most distinguished scholars of the twentieth century and was felicitated with many awards for his contribution to academics. He is the recipient of the highest civilian award in 1954 - the Bharat Ratna. His other honors include a Knighthood in 1931 and an honorary membership of the British Royal Order of Merit in 1963. To celebrate his achievements, his students decided to observe his birthday as Teachers Day. 

Teachers Day is used to express our love and gratitude towards the teachers who have helped shape our career. In the sporting arena, you might have heard of many renowned coaches like Ramakant Achrekar and Peulla Gopichad, who have gone on to produce some of the country's finest sportspersons like Sachin Tendulkar, Saina Nehwal, etc. On the occasion of Teachers Day, we take a look at some of the best student-teacher bonds that India has witnessed over the years:

Ramakant Achrekar

Ramakant Achrekar is known to have groomed the likes of Vinod Kambli, Ajit Agarkar. But most notably it was under Ramakant Achrekar's tutelage, one of the greatest players to have graced the gentleman's game was born, Sachin Tendulkar. The 'Master Blaster'  was handed his ODI debut against New Zealand in 1994, and he never looked back after that as he went on to break several records during his stellar career which spanned for almost 24 years.

Recalling the contributions Achrekar made in shaping his career, the batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar was quoted as saying in the book "Even When There Is A Doctor": "He was strict at times, extremely strict and also caring and loving. Sir did not say well-played to me ever, (but) I knew (when) Sir has taken me to have bhelpuri or  paani -puri, Sir is happy, I have done something nice on the field."

Rajkumar Sharma 

Virat Kohli is regarded as one of the best batsmen of the modern era. His meteoric rise from the junior ranks to becoming the captain of the Indian cricket team is exceptional. And if there is one man who has played an immense role in making Kohli one of the world's best, it has to be his coach Rajkumar Sharma. The Delhi-based coach has known to have produced many good cricketers, but his best product thus far has been Virat Kohli, who has gone on to enjoy unprecedented success at the top-level of cricket.

Virat Kohli is known to still seek advice from his coach whenever he thinks thing aren't going right. Knowing the passionate person he is, Kohli has also been vocal about his love for his coach on many occasions. But, there is one such incident where Kohli's heartwarming gesture left Rajkumar emotional. It goes back to the year of 2014, Kohli not only called to wish his coach "Happy Teacher Day", but also handed him the keys to a brand new SUV.

Pullela Gopichand

Pullela Gopichand is the second Indian player after Prakash Padukone to have won the All England Open Badminton Championships. The Former No.1 player also won the national championships five times in a row. In 2003, he announced his retirement from badminton, in his quest to improve the quality of the sport and provide it the infrastructure the sport deserves.

His coaching stint almost mirrored the success of his playing career as he set up an academy in his hometown, Hyderabad - which has proved to be a conveyer belt of India's top badminton talent. The academy has produced the Olympic medalists PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal. The likes of Parupalli Kashyap, Kidambi Srikanth, Gurusai Dutt, and HS Prannoy, have been groomed under his tutelage.

Mahavir Singh Phogat

If you might have watched the movie Dangal, you will be familiar with this name. Mahavir Singh Phogat, a former wrestler himself, fought against all odds to mould his daughters into wrestling champions. He rose to prominence after his daughter, Gheeta Phoghat won the gold medal in wrestling at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Her success set the ball rolling for her sisters Babita, Ritu, Sangeeta, Vinesh and Priyanka, who went on to achieve remarkable feats. Recently, Vinesh Phoghat became the first Indian female wrestler to win gold at the Asian Games.

Bishweshwar Nandi 

Not so long ago, ace gymnast Dipa Karmakar sent shockwaves throughout the world after she came agonizingly close to winning a medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics after finishing fourth. Post that she went on to win gold at the Gymnastics World Challenge Cup. And much credit for her success goes to Bishweshwar Nandi, who had trained her for almost 16 years.

Credited for shaping the identity of Indian gymnastics on the world stage, Bishweshwar Nandi was awarded the Dronacharya award and was also promoted from the assistant director’s post to deputy director in the state government’s Sports and Youth Affairs Department.

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