Marzban Patel, a retired hockey coach is supporting local hockey talent for free in an expensive city like Mumbai for over four decades now. He is providing hockey coaching to the underprivileged children of Mumbai for free since a very long time. A lot of Olympian players were nurtured under his wing like Yuvraj Walmiki, Adrian D’Souza, Devendra Walmiki, Gavin Ferreira etc.
“I grew up in a Railway colony. We had a hockey player named Mohin Khan staying at the colony. Every day I used to watch him play and that’s how the fascination for the game of sticks started. I learnt the game by watching him play. Every day I used to go at Bombay Republican club, watch hockey game and play too” proclaimed Bawa sir( He is fondly known as Bawa Sir).
Children from all backgrounds learn under Bawa sir. There is no distinction among the students who play here. Some belong to well-to-families while some don’t. But when they are on ground they are just the students of Bawa Sir. He is managing all the funds through the salary he is getting as a teacher in a school.
It is his relentless contribution towards the national game that has earned Bawa Sir the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Sports Journalists Association of Mumbai (SJAM). While the SJAM award was present to him by batting legend Sachin Tendulkar, he got his Real Heroes trophy (CNN-IBN) from Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan.
Bawa sir is quite hostile towards the Indian education system. He thinks that today’s study curriculum has less of sports and more of studies.
“Kids now days have to go under so much of pressure. Pressure to study hard, excel, live up to parents expectations. There is no space to relax. And that’s were sports help them to liberate once a while. But looking at the Indian education system, there is a very little place for sports.” Said Bawa sir.
To connect with Marzban Patel: 07045061765