What Original Source : The Interview Portal

Our childhoods are filled with great memories, especially sports. As time passes, we forget what we played and continue with our careers. However a few of them retain that spark and decide to build their career around their passion, sports.

Today we meet one such professional. Shyam Krishnamurthy from The Interview Portal in conversation with Balakrishnan, a national level TT champion from Madurai

Hi Bala, can you tell us about your background?

Hi! My dad Mr B Sundar is a Tamil Nadu State Table Tennis Coach and mom Pragna Devi is working as an English teacher. In my initial years my dad used to take me to the Table Tennis academy often which sparked my interest in the game of table tennis. Moreover, i din’t have a great profile in studies. I was clear that i did not want to take up engineering or medical and waste my future.

What made you choose this career?

The passion which i had for Table Tennis and my dad’s advice regarding the game to other academy players and senior players speech motivated me to take up this game. Wherever i went people used to ask me if i was coach Sundar’s son. I thought i should change that and then came a chance to prove myself in 2011 School Nationals State Team Selection. That year was a much more competitive year as major state ranked players were playing in my event(under-19) and that was a turning point where i was a part of the Tamilnadu team and we won silver in the Nationals held at Delhi

The support of my parents and school (TVS Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Madurai) made me stronger in my resolve to pursue TT and select this career with a straight mind. The 1st event was 2009 Gujarat nationals followed by 2010 TN Inter Districts Tournament, 2011 Delhi Nationals , 2015 South Zone Inter University –Kavali, AP where i represented Madurai Kamaraj University and our team reached the pre-quarter finals which none of the MKU TT team had ever done.

What were the challenges? How did u address them?

The main challenge was my body weight. I was 135kgs at that time and it was very difficult for me to apply for sports quota jobs as the eligibility was only 85kgs. With the help of a dietician and dad’s fitness workout , i lost 70kgs in 7 months and became fit as a sports person. I became eligible to apply for sports quota jobs .

Where are you working now?

Iam working with Employee’s State Insurance Corporation ,Ministry of Labour & Employment , Govt of India. I got this job through sports quota.

What is the criteria for the sports quota job?

You need to have a minimum educational qualification of Plus 2 (12th Std) and should have represented your state in national tournaments.

What do you love about your current career?

Now i can play more for my company and the bond between me and TT is much more. I also have a supportive office who understand my situation and help me accordingly.

Your advice to students based on your experience?

Just focus on only one part either sports or studies , don’t ever waste your future for the sake of your parent’s wish. You guys have your own life and own wishes ,live for yourself and make your parents proud by pursuing and succeeding in your passion . Failure is not the truth its just a shadow..