Thursday, 11 August 2011

Lets do our Legends proud.

The population of young people in India promises a lot for the future of the nation. The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports apparently faces an uphill task in the development of Youth. The National Youth Policy of 2003 recognized few sectors of importance in development of the youth in the country,  Recreation and Sports being one of them. Whenever we have talked about youth development in general, Recreation and Sports has never really been given the importance it beholds.
The country has produced many great athletes and sports persons. They have done the nation proud but has the nation made them proud too? The question above doesn't only asks to give honors and money to the players who have performed outstandingly well in their sports but more importantly it complains about the development of sports in the country. The recent doping scandal is just one example of lack of attention in the area. The scandal just opens floodgates for many questions. The most fundamental of it is lack of proper information and system organization. There is definite lack of organized processes and communication in Sports in India.
After the Being Olympics the heroes like Abhinav Bindra, Vijender Singh and Sushil Kumar were in the limelight but only for a brief period. The Common Wealth Games 2010 were successful for India expect the scams side of it. The heroes, who were cherished, mostly unidentified then and forgotten now.  The reason could be the success of the Indian cricket team in the ICC World Cup 2011 which was held in the sub continent giving a touch more rise to the passions. Cricket which is like a religion in the country, has been one of the most followed and successful sports in the past two decades. Indian Premier League's four seasons have been a little contributor in the development of cricket in the nation and changing the mindset.
It is disappointing to state that wanting to be a cricketer in future is still a taboo in some parts of the country. The sport which has risen so much in the past four years. There has been a change of mindset in the metros where kids want to be cricketers and parents do support them to pursue the dream and career in cricket. This rise has to taken as the benchmark for the  upliftment of other sports.
It is high time now that the system needs to be shaken up. A revolution in the system for the development of youth in Sports is the need of the hour. Years have gone by and gone is the glory which hockey used to bring to the nation. It is shocking to see such state of the National Sport in our country. Do we lack talent in the young men and women of India when it comes to Sports other than Cricket? The answer is pretty simple, we do not. Then why every Olympic's medal tally has very less for India? Why does the headlines like India again fails to qualify for a World Cup or Olympics common for the football fans in the nation?
There are many youngsters who after a great start and passion for the sports have to leave it or accept it as a hobby to move along and earn their bread and butter. Some do not get enough infrastructure to progress and improve. The fact that we lack infrastructure for sports is not very unknown one. The other aspect is the prospects for the budding players. The security for the future which encourages people to let their kids and people who stop playing professionally at the age of 24-25 keep playing. 
When we talk of youth development in other important sectors of youth development, there are many options for the pursuer. There are many institutions like colleges and skill development centers set up by the government. To bring the change in the system and to develop youth in Sports we need to change the concept  of sports from just limited to fields, courts and pools to extend it to class rooms and sciences. The change should be brought in the way sports is perceived in the society. There need not only just academies but Sports should be introduced as a subject after the secondary education (High School Tenth Standard) and there should be graduation courses in Sports. Courses like Physical Education do exist in the country but they have failed to attract a large audience. To develop the youth and encourage young talent to continue graduations in Sports with specialization in individual sports is the need of the moment. The courses should include detailed information about the diet plans, drugs which should not be user to avoid doping, physics of sports and other detailed things. Today only the international players get awareness. The specialization in making sports instruments can be an important part of skill development.
Innovative measure have to be taken now to revive and develop the sports in India and to encourage young Indians to become sports persons and make the country proud. Amazingly, when I look at the fact that we lack infrastructure, system and academies but still our nation has produced legends in the field of Sports it does make sense to say that we have a lot of talent here. The pool of talent is there and now is the time that we develop the raw talent and bring glory to our nation. Just as the American Journalist Howard Cosell rightly said,  "Sports is human life in microcosm.", lets work to build the glory and bring the much needed change and do our legends proud.

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