In Pursuit Of Cultivating A Sporting Culture
September 1, 2016
So the Olympics came and went …with pretty much a similar result for India as with every other time. A couple of saving grace medals in the otherwise barren tally. Each time the media is in frenzy about the deplorable state of sporting facilities in the country and the lack of a proper and systematic impetus in identifying and training potential candidates.
The question is quite literally about the lack of infrastructure and facilities. You have talented athletes training in sub-par facilities with no access to proper equipment, let alone anything close to international standards. So what’s the solution?
Catch them young and train them right. And maybe the government can use a helping hand in this endeavor. If corporates and large companies with the resources can help in putting up the needed infrastructure, it should help talented athletes gain a leg up in their quest for success. It is quite heartening to see that some large residential projects have taken cognizance to this fact and are providing good sporting facilities within their complexes. Take for example, the Sobha City project in Gurgaon that is a 39 acre project, of which 85% is left open and is dedicated to sporting and recreational facilities. It hosts facilities for about 16 different types of sport including a 90 m diameter cricket ground with an international quality pitch and an Olympic- sized swimming pool. This is the kind of impetus that can boost sporting temperament in youngsters especially in a city that lacks public spaces for sports. If you look at sporting histories of countries that do well in international events such as the Olympics, you’d see that they put in great effort in a systematic manner, training talent right from a young age. If people, in residential complexes with access to such facilities encourage their children to take advantage of it, maybe that’s one way we would have more talent coming up that can take up the mantle at international events.
A sport is a discipline that is essential to every person, not just for physical fitness and agility but for mental agility and strength too, regardless of it leading to participation in competitions. It contributes to the overall development of one’s personality. And to that end, every person should take up some sporting activity. And as a nation we could then transform into one with a sporting culture, and go for golds in the coming Olympics.