Sports-womanship

Recently conferred with Lifetime Achievement Award by PMC, 65-year-old Gurbans Kaur has completed 50 years in sports

Dressed in a collared Tshirt, track pants and sport shoes, hair neatly pinned, Gurbans Kaur is busy training a team of girls from St. Miras College at Sanas Park. Even at the age of 65, Kaur dedicates two hours every morning and evening here, doing warm up and stretch exercises followed by javelin, shot put and hammer throw. "After I retired as a sports professor and coach from St. Mira's College, I did not know what to do. All my life I have been a sportswoman and hence I decided to continue my devotion towards sports," says Kaur, who recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) for completing 50 years in sports.

Over the years, this sportswoman has won over 30 national and world competitions for javelin, shot put and hammer throw including All India Open Championships in Pune (1965), Ludhiana (1973), Madurai (1974), Ajmer (1975), Chandigarh (1977), Jalandhar (1978) and Jamshedpur (1979) to name a few.

Kaur was born in a village in the Firozepur district in Punjab. Before she was a year old, her parents shifted base to Pune. Having retired from the army just after India gained independence, her father took up the post of a priest at a Gurudwara at Hadapsar. In 1963, Kaur was admitted in junior college at St. Mira's College, where she met B D Gaikwad, a sports teacher who found her talent for throws. "One day Gaikwad sir called my friend and me on the field and asked us to throw a shot-put. We didn't know what it was or how to throw it. However, we, being healthy, hefty Punjabi girls with strong bodies, picked up the shot-put and flung it across the field with all our strength. He was shocked at how far the shot-put went. Later, he explained the sport to us and trained us for competitions," recalls Kaur.

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