It’s 5 am and young boys and girls collect at the school playground. A few quick warm up exercises and time for action — running a seven kilometre route as Coach Nagarkoche checks their timings.
There is no great science. It is just a pilot project based on marathon’s unwritten scouting law — scan the rural country side for lean frames.
Their daily struggle for survival tones up these children’s calves and opens their lungs. As they run along, the harsh reality of life layers them with tenacity. And these body types, says Coach Nagarkoche, are hard to find in urban cities.
“City ke bachchon main aur inmein bahut farak hain. Yeh simple hain. Inke koi zaroorat nahin hain. Inki koi distraction nahi hain. (They are very different from city children. They have no distraction and their needs are simple),” says he.
Bhgawan Nagarkoche retired from the Armed forces eight years ago and took up the position of a physical instructor at the Sainik School, bringing with him discipline and fitness.