Sport, both by definition and implication, means all forms of competitive physical activity which, through casual or organised participation, aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and provide entertainment to participants/ and or spectators and can take place between two participants or numerous participants simultaneously or as a team. Sport is totally based on the physical dexterity of an individual. Naturally, this dexterity also depends on the intake of proper nutrition or a balanced diet. But the scope of the definition of the word ‘sport’ doesn’t fully match with the Indian sports scene. In India, sports are viewed only as a medium of entertainment and are used largely as a resource for earning moolah and fame.
It is a fact that India has a very rich tradition in sports. In the past Indian sportspersons were exceptionally spirited, motivated and passionately involved with the sport of their choice. But today, other than cricket which is like a religion in India, and in some states, football, the youth of India are often not interested in other sports disciplines. Why this marked difference in preference, especially when there are quite a number of sports academies is the country. In fact in almost every city of India there is at least one sport academy. Financial mileage is also provided by the Central Government in the field of Sports and Youth Affairs. According to statistics available, in 2011-2012, the Indian Government had a budget of Rs. 1121 crores [Rs. 1000 crores (plan) and Rs. 121 crores (non-plan)] for the development of sports in India. Other than this, major schemes for sportspersons are also backed by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. Incentives along with pension schemes for meritorious sportspersons are provided as well. Then why is the sports scene in India not as vibrant as it could or should be ? After all, India has a huge population which should mean that there is no dearth of talent. But our performances at the international level don’t seem to reflect this, with countries like Jamaica which have a fragment of our population, coming up with sterling performances.
Why is the sports scene in India not as vibrant as it could or should be ? After all, India has a huge population which should mean that there is no dearth of talent. But our performances at the international level don’t seem to reflect this, with countries like Jamaica which have a fragment of our population, coming up with sterling performances.
Many analysts point their finger for the country’s lackluster sports performances at the country’s education system and prevailing patterns of thinking. From a young age when a boy or a girl begins going to school parents are ready to spare no expense at all in ensuring that a good school is selected and tuitions for improving a child’s classroom performance are arranged. But most parents tend to focus only on academics and not on sports, which are viewed mainly as a medium for entertainment. If by chance if any student does well in sports during his/her schooling and wants to make it a career, then instead of motivating child, the parents often misguide or threaten them, forgetting that a career in sports is now like a normal government or private job and sportspersons are often absorbed into government or private organisations such as the Railways, airlines and so on. Obviously, the education system in India needs a change in strategies as well as curriculum.
Moreover, several analysts believe that the diet and food habits of Indians are also to blame for our often dismal performances in the sports field. In the case of athletes or sportspersons, their diet is different from that a normal individual. According to the Nutrition Group of the International Olympic Committee, well chosen diets have many benefits as they provide the fuel to train and perform at an elite level, maintain ideal body weight and physique, reduce risk of injury and illness and help sportspersons to be consistent in performance.
Carbohydrates, protein, micro-nutrients and minerals along with adequate amounts of water are the prime requirements for being healthy. Indian foods do have all these ingredients but the amount is not provided in adequate or balanced quantities to young people. From childhood, junk foods along with cold drinks and highly oiled food now form an essential part of a child’s diet. Such unhealthy eating hampers their performance as healthy and hygienic food habits are a key to success in the sports arena. Another aspect which is causing a dilution of interest in sports are indoor computer and video games to which young people seem to be addicted these days. High definition video games with special effects are attracting them increasingly. It is the responsibility of the parents to guide them towards outdoor games. Life style changes in modern India are also a matter of concern. Youngsters prefer to go to pubs and discos more than to the play fields. This attitude is also prevalent in youngsters overseas but they have a strict and disciplined routine in which sports has its own importance. In India, youngsters tend to takes sports
Given all the factors outlined above, establishing sports academies in different parts of the country and introducing different schemes for the players is not going to produce quality sportspersons. It is a systematic process which should be started from childhood itself and followed with proper dedication and patience.
Academies in India
Institute of Physical Education,Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh
|Only deemed University in
the field of physical education
|TataPadukoneBadmintonAcademy(TBPA),Bangalore, Karnataka||Established in 1994, by
Prakash Padukone, Vivek Sharma, both stalwarts of Indian badminton
|Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, Manali, Himachal
training in mountaineering and allied sports
|Bhaichung Bhutia Football
Schools in Mumbai & Delhi
|Famous footballer Baichung
Bhutia inaugurated it, organised the first twenty 20 Football Cup in
|St. Pauls Stag Table
Tennis Academy,Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.
|Provides world class
facilities and coaching in table tennis