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Juggling passion and profession
Rajiv Joshi is a national basketball player, and Physical Education (PE) teacher at Kathmandu International Study Center (KISC). Having dedicated in sports for 10 years now and played over 100 tournaments, he recently won the NEBA President Cup organized by Nepal Basketball Academy last week.
Graduating from Prime College with a BBS degree, Rajiv has continued playing basketball throughout his college years. He has so far competed in about 10 national and international games that took place in Greece, Bangladesh and India.
Sonam Lama of My City caught up with Rajiv to talk about his experience and setbacks in his journey.
What inspired to play basketball?
I have been fond of sports ever since I was a child. I had a friend who often played basketball and I remember being amused watching him play. I realized my keenness for sports then and made efforts to play better. Moreover, my coach in school had noticed my interest in sports and further encouraged me to continue playing. In the course of playing tournaments, I began weaving this dream to represent my country in international matches.
What challenges do you face as a national player?
Although the scope of sports has taken hold in Nepali market, there are yet many perceptions to be broadened. Since there is no such provision of paying allowances and providing health insurance to national players and insufficient budget allocation for training is still prevalent, the national sports scenario is in a vulnerable state. This further forces us to opt for a side job for survival. Having ruled by this antiquated perception that being a player could hardly vouch for a good pay, a player’s career is always at risk.
How tough is it to take work and passion hand in hand?
It is quite challenging to manage time. When I was in my high school, I used to work on hourly basis and had plenty of time to participate in several tournaments. But, since I have been working as a full time PE teacher, managing time for sports has become challenging. There were times when I had to let go some tournaments due to work and times when I had to escape exams due to competitions. Nevertheless, I make sure to hit the gym for two to three hours daily after work and look forward to playing basketball until my body allows.
Is there scope for sportspersons in Nepal?
There is always a scope for anything you do if you are competent enough to sell your product in the market. I have come across many players who have dedicated their full time in sports and are earning well. Comparatively, the scope of sports is gradually widening and players now are provided with opportunity to participate in international games. With Nepal performing better in the international platform and gaining popularity, the scope surely is improving.
Would you like to convey any message to aspiring sportspersons?
Success doesn’t come in a short period of time. It is necessary to instill in your mind that it takes a lot of perspiration and practice for accomplishment. At times you may be encountered by incredible stroke of luck, but at the end it is your hard work and dedication that actually pays off in the long run.