Thursday, August 14, 2008

Why does India not excel in sports?

To understand this question we must understand why certain countries do excel in sports -
  • In most developed nations kids have an an opportunity to select any sport as a choice of career and even discontinue education.
  • Government provided facilities are available will help them in confidently selecting any particular sport as career.
  • The membership fee to utilize the facilities is also nominal given the average income.

In a developing country like India
  • Most schools in India don't even have a ground; forget getting kids exposed to sports like swimming.Let us consider an average Indian child. Think about the access to sports facilities that he has at the school age. The facilities probably will be there for one or two sports that too shared by so many other children.
  • No parents in India would like to encourage their children to discontinue their studies as there is no guarantee of earning a livelihood in a nation where not all the sports are patronized by its citizens.
  • At the same time the nation cannot create such facilities even if it funds the same due to the high population density.
  • In addition to the basic problems, there are some created reasons as well that trouble the sports persons in the country. Cricket is the only sport in India which is truly patronized and a lot of private enterprises support the game. For almost every other sport the payscales for sportspersons is low and recieve very limited support from private enterprises. Many of India's sportsperson maintain day jobs with companies and only participate in events as time permits. There is no adequate support for sportspersons and families from the government.
Reasons to be optimistic
  • At least urban Indian citizens are moving away from idolizing cricket icons and are beginning to take interest in foreign sports thanks to television and broadcast media.
  • With a growing awareness,income and globalization parents are taking extra efforts to expose their kids to other sports besides Cricket.
  • This bottom up change is beginning to get noticed by advertisers who are looking to sponsor events in India which is helping sports persons to be focused.
As many other things in India, the bottom up approach will take time and hopefully we should see better results in the next decade.