Residing in a country with a population of 1.2 billion people it’s disheartening to accept the fact that our country is able to win very few numbers of medals. Each time a multisport event takes place the performance of our country is been questioned. Our performance has never been satisfactory in giant multi-sports events like Olympics, Commonwealth games etc.
Since 1980 our nation managed to win one gold medal in the year 2008 when Abhinav Bindra became the first individual to win gold for his country at the 10-meter air rifle event. Michael Phelps a great swimmer from America has an equal number of gold medals which our country has won since 1900.
Where do we lack? It’s the first question which strikes in my mind whenever I go through the results and news about the poor performance of our country. Don’t our country have talented players? Don’t our government spends ample amount of funds in sports, don’t we have appropriate infrastructure?
We are loaded up with every required stuff but the improper and inappropriate allocation of these resources restricts our country from grabbing those shiny medals and trophies. From past few years, I have observed that most of the people are too much into cricket that they aren’t even aware that there are other games too. No doubt cricket is fascinating even I am a great fond of it but our media never hypes up news of other games just like the way it does for cricket.
There aren’t one or two set of measure which needs to be rectified as the whole strata of the sports system need a major modification. Apart from the rectification and modification in sports system, there is a variant of aspects which affects our pace adversely.
Listing down some of the aspects which are limiting us to meet our expectation
Lack of encouragement
I don’t have to reveal this as we have experienced it since our childhood. The primary and foremost thing which our society and family encourage us is to get educated and secure a scholar job for a better lifestyle. No doubt education is important but ignoring the wishes of a child is what our family does especially when he/she expresses his desires for choosing sport as a career.
Millions of youngster's face this issue where they have to change their streams just because they don’t get enough support for opting it even though if they are good at it.
We still don’t have stadiums and sports fields in each and every city till now. The cities which are rich in their infrastructure and technology is filled with each and everything which is needed for a perfect lifestyle. Lack of infrastructure is one of the foremost reason the talent of so many youngsters goes in vain. Each and every game couldn’t be played and practiced in an open field as there are games likes boxing, swimming, wrestling and many similar to it which can only be practiced in proper stadiums and complexes.
Not only sports but whenever an individual chooses something different from the league as a career he is never been encouraged by society. Mostly he is been criticized for adopting any career which is apart from educational stuff.
No matter how much effort he is putting into his desired stream he is always criticized unless and until he achieves something. Not each and every person is strong enough to take that criticism in a positive way as many breakdowns and switch themselves in other streams even though they are good at it.
Lack of Media Coverage and exposure
How many times have you seen our wrestlers compete at international events? Apart from giant sports events like Olympic, commonwealth games, and Asian hardy, there are live telecasts of these games. Our so-called media discusses these sportspeople only when they participate in these events. Apart from cricket, I don’t think there is any other sport which gets the amount of exposure to the way cricket gets.
Biased selection process
Things have transformed a lot but still, we hear news about the biased selection process in which the deserving sportsperson isn’t selected and is demanded ample amount of money in a form of donation and other relative ways. Corruption and source in a particular department also lead to the biased selection process which affects ultimate performance of our country in sports events.
The scandals are so common in each and every government departments and similar is in the case of sports association of our country too. We all are well aware of the news of commonwealth games scam in the year 2010 in which Suresh Kalmadi was found guilty. Similarly, in the year 2012 Indian Olympic Association has been suspended form the International Olympics committee and the reason was electing the leader which were having pending criminal charges. Even our athletes have also forced participation in the Sochi Winter Games under the IOC flag in spite of Indian banner.
Unfit Heads of Organizations
Most governing bodies of sports in India, appoint a management committee that is completely oblivious of the sport. The appointed management committee changes according to the political scenario which causes a change in direction very often and stunts the overall growth of the sport. Moreover, the appointed members are more often than not politicians who have neither played the sport nor follow it. By the time they understand the sport and its long-term goals, the mantle of responsibility changes and the cycle continues.
What needs to be done?
Problem is in every sector and a country where there is a population of 1.2 billion people the possibility of granting resources to each and every individual residing in it is practically not possible but there are several factors which government and our society need to focus on.
Maximum number of sports and games should be broadcasted on television because most the of the time youngster develops the skills of playing a sport through television and till the time our broadcasters will cover and on-air a limited number of games the chances getting aware about variant sports isn’t possible
India also needs to learn to embrace all sports, rather than a handful. The more talent we promote, the better are our chances to win medals will be at renowned events. We need to channelize our strength and resources more on some of the core sports that India has been traditionally good at sports like hockey, archery, shooting, wrestling, boxing, and weightlifting seems to be departing as they are not getting enough exposure.
Grasp and learn from China
Taking the example of China which is the most populated country in the world I just want to explain what are the things which should inherit from them. China is densely populated and they too face the problem of granting equal resources but still, they are best in multiple sporting events and every time they grab a good number of medals because they choose sports or games whose equipments are cheap in cost or games which doesn’t require any set of equipment. They are not good at cricket, hockey, tennis or football.
The foremost aim of China’s was to win glory for the nation through sport. To achieve this goal, the Chinese government took an initiative of establishing elite sports system. There were government-run sports training centers at all levels – national, provincial, and city and county sports schools.
Children as young as 4 years were selected and put into these training centers. The expenses are borne by the State, the children were made to train out of their skins so that one day they may excel at the international level and bring glory for the Nation.
But above par in badminton, table tennis and in athletics. The economy may be average, but their passion and dying attitude made them find a solution, how to involve in sports without spending much.
China runs many ruthless training camps across the country to which parents send their children to learn how to be champions. This is considered the most crucial time to determine whether or not the child will be able to win the Olympics.
Well, government and other private bodies are actively stepping ahead to enhance the performance of sports in our country. To scout and nurture the talented youngsters in the age group ranging from 8-25 years in different sports government has come up with several schemes with an objective of preparing an individual for international sports events and competitions.
• National Sports Talent Contest Scheme (NSTC)
• Army Boys Sports Company (ABSC)
• SAI Training Centre (STC)
• Special Area Games (SAG)
• Extension Centre of STC/SAG
• Centre of Excellence (COE)
• National Sports Academies (NSA)
Khelo India School Games (KISG)
On 31st January 2018 Indian government inaugurated Khelo India School games. The primary objective behind the Khelo India School Games is to spread awareness that how a sport is an important part of a lifestyle and each and every individual should engage himself in some sort of games.
Through this program, national level games will be conducted in school and every year 1000 youngster below 17 years of age will be selected and will be given a scholarship of 5 lakh rupees for 8 years to prepare themselves for multinational sports events and championships.
List of things which will be covered under this program:
There is a tremendous amount of sporting wave in the country today and sports is being embraced across all strata of the society as evident from the success of the various sporting leagues in the country. We have successful sporting leagues across all sports ranging from cricket, kabaddi, wrestling to boxing like IPL Indian Super League, PBL (Pro Kabaddi league), ISL (Indian Super League), PBL (Pro Badminton league) etc.
These leagues have given a lot of support and exposure to the games which were been ignored frequently. All thanks to the private bodies who took initiatives along with some fellow partner to organize this kind of a much-needed league.
At last, all I wanna say is that it’s the responsibility of each and every individual to understand and give priority to sports. Though we are an overpopulated country and having a limited set of resources but if each and every individual indulged in sports-related activity understands his responsibility and put some effort our performance at global sports events will get much better than the way it is currently.
In Rio Olympics, we saw that how our girls managed to bring medals for our nation and by going through articles and news I found out that they are not the ones who come from a lavish background but then too they grab those shiny medals for us.
So no doubt that our country is filled with extraordinary and exceptionally skilled individuals and all they need is a bit of encouragement and platforms where they can be shaped in the best possible way.
Well, no doubt there is a lot of stuff which still needs to eradicated but one the other side I am mesmerized the way government and giant private bodies like reliance and many other groups have actively come forward with an agenda of exposing and improving the scenarios of games which weren’t given enough importance and exposure. The several leagues which are now been organized are only possible by the active participation of private bodies. Through the involvement of renowned public figures of several fields the appeal of the games has also been increased.
So things are not gonna change in a split of a second, it will take time and steadily if the people and bodies assigned for the sports systems in our country show correct approach and intention towards their respective jobs.