Carmel Convent High School located on east end road in Bengaluru, celebrated its silver jubilee on the 10th and 11th of December by hosting an inter-school volleyball and basketball tournament. More than 20 schools from the city participated. The school also celebrated the bronze-medal that the girls’ volleyball team, won at the national level, representing the Karnataka at the Panchayat Yuva Krida Aur Khel Abhiyan (PYKKA) volleyball tournament held in Bhopal on 3rd and 4th December.
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The school has over 800 students with an emphasis on sports alongside academics. Of the 12 member team from Karnataka 11 were from Carmel convent. The twelfth student was from Udupi. The team was coached by Aslam Pasha, the volleyball coach at Carmel Convent and Miss Hazel Mary Raju, the physical education teacher.
The achievement of bronze was no mean feat as the volleyball team comprised of students from class 6 to class 9, while most other teams had students from grades much higher than them. Sayyed Arbaina, the team captain says the challenge was immense. "We were slightly intimidated by the fact that we were playing against much older players but we were determined to get a medal" she says.
Captaining a young team, it was important that they not lose their morale and Arbaina says a pep talk to the team every night ensured that their morale didn’t flag down. Aslam Pasha, the volleyball coach who has been coaching at Carmel for more than two decades has been instrumental in the success of the players. "Pasha Sir is one of the best coaches we could get. He has given us excellent coaching and we hope to strive for more achievements in the coming years", says Arbaina.
Aslam Pasha believes that with a little more training the team could become one of the best in the country. "Carmel Convent has been consistently winning medals at the state and national levels but there is always room for improvement. The school has been volleyball champion since 22 years. At International level, we won the Indo-Lanka Peace cup held in Colombo a few years back", Mr. Pasha added.
As part of the fitness training of players, Pasha says they will soon to introduce strength training. "We feel that strength training can boost the fitness of players considerably and help us in the game. If we have to become one of the best, then we have to train like the best players do ", he said.
The team has a rigorous training schedule with two hours of practice in the morning and in the evening. Arbaina says that they are charged after their practice sessions and feel fresh and are able to concentrate on their studies better and hence there are no adverse effects on their studies.
Pasha feels that the achievements of the students in sports have actually helped further their higher education. "Our students, even those who are average at academics have gone on to study at reputed engineering and medical college because of sports quota. There is definitely no downside to them playing sports", he adds.