Mr Jagdish Sharma , Ex - HOD , Sports

Our Respected Teacher Series ! Mr Jagdish Sharma
Ex HOD – Sports / Physical Education Deptt from 1980-1997 

We had the opportunity to catch up with Mr Jagdish Rai Sharma popularly known as “Sharma Sir”. He was the Head of the Physical Education Department from 1980-1997 at AFBBS.
With a professional teaching career spanning over 4 decades across Air Force Bal Bharati, British School, Pathway International and Ardee International School, he has nurtured and trained numerous National and International level athletes across various sports like Cricket, Shooting, Skiing, Sailing and Basketball.
He has recently joined facebook and you can connect with him at:
He had many fond stories to share with us about his time at AFBBS – Here is an extract of some that we have captured for you:
1. Snapshot of your teaching career.
I have now been teaching for a little over 44 Years at various schools and colleges across Delhi and Punjab. Being around young minds has kept be going. AFBBS was my longest stint – I spent 17 amazing years there from Nov 1980 – Jul 1997.
2. What is it about teaching that you enjoy the most?
The whole journey of a student – the entire process. Seeing students from their first day in Kindergarten to Class 12 and in many instances now even having taught their kids. It gives us, teachers, immense satisfaction and pride to see our students happy and doing well.
All children love playing and seeing the happiness and joy on their face when they play keeps me motivated. Then, there are students who best express themselves on the field, the process of nurturing their talent and helping them develop into national and international level athletes for our country is the most satisfying feeling. Being a small part of that journey is our ultimate reward.
3. Can you recall your first few days at AFBBS?
Within a week of me joining AFBBS, we were about to celebrate the Silver Jubilee 25th Anniversary of the school. So the only thing I remember from that time is having a lot of pressure to deliver a great milestone celebration. It was also a good time to meet and interact with the all the school staff and I remember being welcomed very warmly by everyone.
4. What are some of your fondest memories from your time at AFBBS?
There are quite a few actually.
I’ll start with a few big personal milestones, 1980 I joined AFBBS – That was my first job in Delhi, 1981 – I got married and in 1982 – we started a family. So some big personal life events.
We also had some very successful years as an institution during that time. We had some of the best sporting talent come out of AFBBS. Some of our students went on to represent the state and the country in international competition in various disciplines: Maninder Singh, Nikhil Chopra, Ajay Verma, Sumit Dogra, Pawan Sharma & Atul Mohindra (Cricket), Vivek & Alok Singh (Shooting), Niraj Vedwa & Kushpal Singh (Sailing), Ritu Nagpal, Anita, Rajesh Arya and Pankaj (Swimming) Vikram (Can’t remember his last name) (Davis Cup – Tennis) and Rupam Monga, Sushila Sripal, Haroon Bawa, Rahim & Ajay Maharaj (Basketball) to only name a few.
5. Please share some fun stories from your time at AFBBS that you can recall?
We used to organize a yearly swimming inter house/sadan competition at Talkatora Stadium, Delhi. There was this student Akaash Thappa – who at the time entered his name in every event, representing his sadan. Overall, he must have entered his name in 10-12 races or so. I remember being a little surprised about not knowing Akaash being such a strong swimmer and was eager to see him perform.
On the day of the event, the first race takes off. We suddenly notice that one student, is struggling to swim and the life guard had to dive into the pool to save him. That was Akaash! I took him to the hospital and on my way, I asked him why did he put down his name in every event? when he didn’t know how to swim? He told me that he wanted to be away from school and he thought that this was a great idea. We had to cancel the event that year and you can imagine what must have happened next!
Maninder Singh (Played for the Indian Cricket Team) was giving his class 12 class board exams at DPS Mathura Road, I was waiting for him outside the school as I had to take him for a Ranji Trophy match after the exam to Feroz Shah Kotla. He knew that the deal was to finish the exam otherwise no game.
The exam got over and there was no sign of Maninder, when I checked with the examiner and school authorities, I got to know that he finished his exam within the first hour, then ran away from the back entrance, got into an auto and went straight to Feroz Shah Kotla for his match. Credit to him, on the basis of his performance in that match he got selected to play for India.
We probably had the best cricket team in North India with Ajay Verma, Maninder Singh, Nikhil Chopra, Mohd. Saleem, Sumit Dogra, Pawan Sharma, Atul Mohindra and few more players who were exceptionally good. We were playing the finals of a tournament. I kept telling the boys that “don’t be over confident” and not to take the opposition lightly. I don’t think the boys took my advice seriously, we were all out for 123 runs!
It was by far the most disappointing performance. I had to pull them up and was extremely disappointed with them. Before the team took the field, I was promised by the team that they will bowl the other team out for under 100 runs. While I thought that they were again being arrogant, I always knew that this would take some doing and if they played to their potential we might just pull off something special.
I haven’t seen such a great performance from any team, they were all so determined and motivated to win that they bowled out the other team for 88 runs. It was such a proud moment for me as their teacher/coach.
6. Any advice for your students who are now parents?
Ensure that you educate your kids through sports – They learn important life skills (hard work, practice, patience, teamwork) and sports also helps in bring discipline to their lives. For some, it is a way to express themselves. The next superstar maybe be the one you are yelling at right now.
7. Any message for the current AFBBS students?
Practice makes you perfect – Ensure that pick up a sport, subject or a hobby that you really enjoy and work hard towards mastering it.
Thank you Sir, we want to end with a quick rapid fire round.
8. Your favorite colleague at AFBBS?
Mr. Yogesh Sood – PE Teacher.
9. Your favourite School Principal?
Mrs. H Baxi. The school had some of its best sporting years under her leadership.
10. Your favourite Sadan?
Tie between Inderaprastha & Kanchi.
11. Your favourite Batch? If any?
The batches from 1986-92. We excelled in every sport and academics. AFBBS was the best school in north India.
With Respect & Gratitude !
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