From Physiotherapy to Academia: A Dual Passion for Dodgeball and Education

October 2, 2023

Dasataran V. Subramaniam, a devoted educator and an ardent advocate of dodgeball, has been a lecturer at INTI International University’s Faculty of Health and Life Sciences for over a year. “I’m quite new to the education field,” he said, revealing his transitions from clinical science and physiotherapy to academia. His commitment to bridging clinical experiences with his passion for sports, particularly dodgeball, paints a picture of a life steeped in diversity and dynamism.

From Clinics to Classrooms
“I’ve been with INTI since January 2022,” Dasataran shared. Although relatively new to the teaching world, his background in Clinical Science and experience in private physiotherapy during the COVID-19 pandemic paved a distinctive path for him. After trying his hand in the clinical setting and a brief dalliance with the idea of joining the army, Dasataran finally found his calling in academia, a field he had long wanted to explore.

The Dodgeball Connection
When asked about his preference for dodgeball over other sports, he emphasised its accessibility and safety. He stated, “The difference that dodgeball brings is the safety for the player; it’s an aggressive, safe, non-contact sport. It’s quite addictive and doesn’t require a lot of physicality.” Dasataran’s ardour for dodgeball is fueled by its inclusive nature, allowing individuals of all ages and abilities to participate, earning it the status of Malaysia’s number one community sport.

According to Dasataran, he started as a referee before becoming an official player. Since then, he’s risen in the ranks and holds positions as the general secretary for the Malaysian Association of Dodgeball and the Dodgeball Federation of Asia.

He also shared that he makes it a point to promote and organise dodgeball events actively and has even introduced the sport to different regions and universities.

Academia and Extracurriculars: Striking a Balance
Managing academic responsibilities while being deeply involved in dodgeball presents challenges. He gratefully acknowledges the support he receives from his dean and manager at INTI, emphasising the importance of prioritising academic responsibilities without compromising his commitment to dodgeball.

“This balance has meant a reduction in time for playing dodgeball and social time, but I believe it’s a price worth paying. Time management is challenging due to my varied roles and tasks,” he admitted.

However, the integration of both worlds has its benefits. Dasataran revealed that his involvement in sports keeps his students engaged, creating a vibrant and interactive environment.

“I teach physiotherapy, so most of my players are physiotherapists,” he mentioned when asked about his students’ participation in dodgeball. He’s been fostering an active dodgeball environment, guiding younger students to restart clubs and ensuring they gain ample experience in the sport.

“Coaching someone and having them acknowledge my efforts is the best experience,” he said, emphasising the joy he finds in being an educator and a coach.

Plans and Ambitions
Dasataran is a staunch advocate for continual learning and adaptation in academia, emphasising the importance of recognising academics for their growth and extracurricular activities. “In academia, you have to be like a chameleon and constantly adapt to the environment,” he explained, revealing his belief in the transformative power of education and change.

He shares that he has plans to return to an alma mater for his PhD, with a topic already receiving nods of approval from his supervisor. While he admits to delaying this pursuit due to his commitment to dodgeball, he is set to prioritise it in the coming year. Firmly rooted in academia, he is passionate about educating to inspire change and is resolved to continue his contributions to education and sports.

Dasataran is not just an academic or a dodgeball enthusiast; he’s a harmonious blend of both. His journey in dodgeball and academia exemplifies the boundless possibilities that arise when passion and commitment collide, paving the way for a future where education and sports coexist harmoniously. As he continues to shape minds and promote dodgeball, his story inspires a generation to pursue their passions fearlessly and make impactful contributions to society.

According to Dasataran V. Subramaniam, dodgeball is an aggressive, safe, non-contact sport which is addictive but does not require a lot of physicality.

Dasataran V. Subramaniam, a lecturer at INTI International University’s Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, in action.