Sports Takes Centre Stage
The recent commonwealth games has proved that India is certainly emerging as a multi-sports country. For the longest time, cricket would overshadow every other sports. Cricket would dominate all sports news, sports channels and every child would aspire to be another Sachin Tendulkar.
But now we see a new India, which has expanded its sporting horizon to include boxing, tennis, badminton, wrestling, shooting, javelin and many more. We also see new heroes like Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, Mary Kom, Manika Batra, just to name a few.
Several corporates are now taking keen interest in identifying and nurturing talent in various sporting fields. These corporates work at the grassroots level to identify and nurture young talent with an eye on the Olympics. But there is still much left to be desired. We need to see larger budget allocations for sports in India. Budgeting for state-of-the-art facilities, world class coaches, the latest equipment and other such basic necessities needs more attention and investment from the government.
Along with arranging for finances, a comprehensive roadmap too has to be drawn out to pick out raw talents and train them to become world class athletes and sports persons. We need to also develop capabilities in other emerging sports like swimming, gymnastics, cycling and so on.
India is taking its baby steps towards etching its niche in the sports world. A greater emphasis on sports education at school level will go a long way in establishing the sports culture in the country. The 2018 Commonwealth Games saw the focus of India’s performance shift from a single medal or a single sport to India’s overall performance at the event – India has progressed from winning one or two medals in one particular sport to winning multiple medals in a variety of sports. In 2018, we have come a long way by featuring in the top three countries with the highest medal count.