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BSF's Golfer DIG Wins Gold In International Police Games

2015-08-20 14:20

DIG BSF Pushpendra Singh Rathore With the medals. Picture by PRANAB DEBNATH

Rathore in practice in Krishnanagar Picture by PRANAB DEBNATH

The Three medals - One gold and two bronzes - that Rathore Won in the US police games. Picture by PRANAB DEBNATH

NfN NETWORK

Krishnanagar, Aug. 20: For the past two years, the residents of Shimultala area in Krishnanagar have become accustomed to witness an unusual scene early in the mornings. A lanky man in his early 50s has been practicing golf on the sprawling green surrounding which once were paddy fields. The locals, who never experienced watching golf live except a few occasions in film and television, amazingly watch regularly that the low lying uneven turf somewhere even filled with water not deterring the man in his endeavor. Since he joined as the deputy inspector general of Border Security Force’s Krishnanagar sector, Pushpendra Singh Rathore, 52, has literally turned the green fields in Shimultala adjacent to his official residence into a golf course.

The tireless effort and strong resolve of Rathore, who created and trained BSF’s first elite commando force – ‘Creek Crocodiles’, had paid off ultimately early this July when he won a gold and two bronze medals in a golf event at the World Police and Fire Games 2015, called as police Olympiad that held at the Fairfax county of Virginia in US during June 26-July 5.

The police Olympiad are held in every two years to honor the community heroes – the public safety officers from around the world. This year 12000 participants from 70 countries across the globe participated in 40 sporting events. The next games will be held in Montreal in 2017.

A 50 member Indian team selected by All India Police Control Board, which was sent to the meet put up an impressive show in Fairfax by winning over 80 medals.

Rathore, however, had participated in the event at his own expenses as the Indian Police team sponsored by the Union ministry of home affairs did not have any golfers.

“I participate in these events regularly and I bear the expenses of the tours. I made contact with the organizers with the approval of the Ministry of Home and participated in the event,” said Rathore.

Despite getting not enough scope for formal practice in absence of any real golf course in Krishnanagar and due to his hectic schedule as the guardian of the 235-km vast Indo-Bangladesh border that spread over North 24 Parganas, Nadia, Rathore bagged one gold and two silver medals in the meet adding new feathers to his cap and made the country proud too.

Teamed with his friend Kulvinder Sing Dalal, a deputy commissioner of Hariyana police, Rathore defeated US contenders Jon Haase and Peter Lucas of Orlando Police in the final of the net category.

Over 400 golfers across the globe participated in the events which were played on three different courses over three days at Laurel Hills Golf Course, Evergreen Country Club and Lansdowne Golf Club in FairfaxCounty.

Rathore and Singh had together scored 188 for the gold medal. The US team scored 190 and Malaysia Police won the Bronze with 195.

As per the rule of Golf, the competition is won by the lowest number of strokes by an individual or the lowest score on the most individual holes during the complete round.

A proud member of Rajasthan’s Ranbanka Rathore clan (Rajput fighter), Puspendra Singh Rathore with an impeccable physique of 6.4 ft whose four was initially a basketball player of international repute and represented country in Commonwealth and SAAF games during 80s. However, later following the family tradition which provided its four generations to serve the country in uniform, he joined the BSF in 1987. Rathore started playing Golf in 2002 when he got posting in Shillong.

An avid fan of ace Bengali golfer Anirban Lahiri, at present Rathore is No. 1 golfer among the men in uniform across the country.

After joining the Krishnanagar sector in 2014, he won the All India Police Golf Championship.

Success in two consecutive championships during the past two years made Rathore and his force personnel in Krishnanagar elated.

“I am very happy as the success came at such a time when the BSF has been celebrating its golden jubilee year. Both the competition - the National championship and this year’s Police Olympiad were tough competition to me. It became tougher to me as I hardly got the scope for practice. To become a golfer one needs rigorous practice of about 8 to 10 hours a day. But, I could only practice for barely two hours and that too literally on a paddy field adjacent to my quarter in Krishnanagar Shimultala village. I only managed to practice at the Tollyganj golf club barely once in a month during the period for my preparation” said Rathore lamenting absence of golf courses in India which has only 235 courses now.

“I never expected success particularly in the US meet as I was largely out of formal practice. I was absolutely out of rhythm. So I went to Fairfax ten days in advance to get some practices sessions. In absence of any golf course in Krishnanagar, I just practiced some big hits and made an alternative to ‘green’ (grass patch) at my residence garden using clay to practice the close hits. I termed it ‘Brown’. But, it helped a lot in disguise. The clay patch was made very fast on which I practiced the hole. So I got edge over my competitors I felt quite comfortable while playing on faster ‘green’ at Fairfax”, Rathore added.

Rathore had also participated in the police Olympiad in earlier occasions. In 2005 games that held in Quebecprovince of Canada he won silver in team event. In 2009 games that held in British Columbia of Canada he won silver both in team and personal events. In 2011 New York games, Rathore bagged Gold medals both in team and individual events.

Rathore attributes his success to his family which has a legacy of sports culture.

“For generations most of our family members took active participation in sports events. So I am not an exception. Participation in sports events and keeping the fitness level at high were always a preference in our family”, Rathore said, whose son Chandra Dev Singh Rathore has already earned accolades as an aspiring shooter.

Rathore is proud of his son 21 year old son Chandra Dev, an MIT final year student, who won bronze in Asian air gun shooting championship that held in Tehran recently and also for his niece Apurvi Singh Chandela won the gold medal 10-meter rifle shooting in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow 

“They have made me proud. I am hopeful they would once make the country proud”, said Rathore who, preparing to become a professional golfer after his retirement in 2023.

“I had a dream to play against Tiger Wood. I even now dream to play with like of Anirban Lahiri and Jyothi Randhawa, but as a government officer it will not be possible until I retire. So if I remain fit enough after 8 years I would try to materialize my dream as a professional golfer”, he said. 

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