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Given India's huge population, is it not unfortunate that we lag behind in sports?

Posted by Shreyans Jain Saturday, 11 August 2012 4 comments

For long, we have wondered why we repeatedly fail to make a mark at the international level. In spite of being the second most populous country of the world, we are perhaps among the worst sporting nations. A number of researches have been carried out and several committees have been set up. But none of them have come up with a winning formula for the Indians. The government reports reveal that, every year, an enormous amount of money is spent on upgrading the sports infrastructure in terms of stadiums and sports equipment. Still, the Indian sportspersons fail to qualify for a large number of sports in mega events like Olympics. The entire nation yearns to see the tri colour fluttering at the top of the medal tally, a number of inspirational and motivational songs are composed to boost the morale of sportspersons and each citizen feels gripped by the sports fever. Even then, we fail to clinch even half a dozen of medals. How pathetic this seems to be! Are we not talented enough? Do we really pursue our sports as a career? Are we really committed towards the sport we play of rather do we really possess the killer instinct required to be the winner? Do we have apprehensions about our capabilities and strengths? Do we have a sports culture in our country?

Many such questions float in our minds we come across the news of India’s poor performance in sports. We have the TajMahal, we have the tiger. We are at once ancient and modern. We taught the world religion, maths and peace. We possess one of the largest army in the world and are among the elite countries known for their technically intellect manpower. But when it comes to sports, we struggle to group ourselves among the top sporting nation of the world.

What is ailing our sports?
Perhaps there is no dearth of talent. What we lack is a proper sports culture. The erratic functioning of the sports authorities, rampant corruption, poor sports infrastructure, biased selection and lack of resources to pursue sports as a career are some of the major factors that have added to the woes of sportspersons and blemished the sporting arena. The Government of India sanctions a huge amount to be spent on the purchase of sports equipment of finest quality and development of new stadiums and upgrading the old ones. But more than half of this sum is galloped by ministers and officials involved in framing the budget for sports expenditure. Out of the money left, a major chunk is amassed by the contractors and suppliers, who burn a big hole in the pockets of the government. The remaining money is too meager to sustain the large number of sports that are played across the nation. This compels the players to finance their respective sports at their own level. Deprived of proper coaching and training, the swimmers are left with no option but to train themselves in drains, athletes to practice in streets and others to adopt many archaic indigenous techniques. This not only makes them vulnerable to physical injuries but also make them less competent at the international level.

The need of the hour is to look into these loopholes and take immediate and effective remedial steps. “Catch them young”, should be the motto to spot talented sportspersons at a young age who can be nurtured and trained properly to make them capable of competing at the international level.Players ought to dedicate themselves to their sports, they should not see it as a pass time. The team should not be devoid of team spirit, instead they should possess the killer instinct to perform well and reach the zenith of success.

For all your days prepare, and meet them ever alike;
When you are the anvil bear, when you are the hammer strike.

Appropriate funds should be allocated and spent oh each sport to acquaint the sportspersons with the most modern and sophisticated training methodologies. The sports other than cricket must be made financially attractive. Let India become one of the biggest sports hubs of the world that can be known for its holistic sports culture and highly skilled sportspersons.

By: Shreyans Jain

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