- Gaurav Saini 29-08-2016
29 August 2016- National Sports Day - There is always a better tomorrow, but we have to collectively work for it.
India’s lukewarm performance at the recent concluded Rio Olympics has given people a reason to debate the performance of a nation weak in sports. As it is said “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” and how Indians played at Rio Olympics has become the talk of the town. From metros to working place, people are discussing what we lack and how well or poorly did we play. Many sports lovers are even giving their ideas and suggestions as to what is to be done so that India can shine in sports. Undoubtedly, Rio Olympics has forced us to introspect and the indifferent performance is a matter of colossal concern for all of us.
Showing his concern, in his 23rd August ‘Maan ki Baat’ programme Prime Minister Narendra Modi commended the persistent coaching skills of Pullela Gopichand which had resulted in bringing some inspirational and excellent badminton players like P.V Sindhu and Saini Nehwal. He reminded the nation that 29th August is celebrated as “National Sports Day” and congratulated Dipa Karmakar, P.V Sindhu, Abhinav Bindra, Sakshi Malik for their outstanding performance at the Rio Olympics.
Aimed at boosting the morale of avid sports lovers, players and to ensure that such indifferent performance does not happen again, PM Modi has taken a much needed step. A Task Force would be set up to prepare all – encompassing action plan for “effective participation” of Indian sportspersons in the next three Olympic Games – 2020, 2024, and 2028. The Task Force will be set up in the next few days and will prepare the overall strategy for sports facilities, selection procedure, training and all other matters related to it. On this day, 29th August, 1905, one of the greatest field hockey player ‘Dhyan Chand’ was born. Interestingly, his name was ‘Dhyan Singh’ but because this legend used to practice at night under the moonlight, his friends and colleagues gave him this name ‘Chand’ meaning ‘moon’.
No matter how poorly we played at Rio but the triumph of wrestler ‘Sakshi Malik’ who won the ‘Bronze’ and shuttler ‘P.V Sindhu’ who won the ‘Silver’ medal showed that women if encouraged can excel anywhere, even in international sports. That she hails from the state of Haryana where girls are considered second class citizens and are meant to look after their family only is a befitting reply to the male dominated khaps or groups of society elders.
Without beating around the bush there lies the dire need to revamp sports and sports culture in India. Sports in India is something which is at the mediocre level and to make it reach at the world level there needs a lot of work to be done.
Sports Bodies are dominated by politicians and businessmen and not by sportsmen or ex players in India. Be it the Center, or the state Governments, they along with coaches, teachers need to come forward and prepare a route map as to how we Indians can touch the zenith point in sports. We all are aware about our weaknesses where we lack but nobody is talking about the root cause. ‘Sports Authority’ plays an indispensable role and is expected to take care of the interest shown by small children at the right age and to train them at the local and international level. Outstanding athletes are not built overnight, it requires continuous hard work and efforts to reach at that level.
Immediate steps are imperative and more and more sports clubs should be opened. Sports body should be headed only by those who have played at the national and international level. Proper facilities and infrastructure should be given to our athletes so that what happened with O.P Jaisha during the marathon event does not happen again. Raising fund is not a problem. If corporates can sponsor cricket then they can sponsor games other than cricket as well. It is not that politicians shouldn’t be at all involved. Only should not dominate sport bodies and selection. At the local level, MLA’s should make sure that there is a proper park in the locality or colony so that children can go and play in their leisure time. Parents should be encouraged that children opt for a career in sports too which could be even better than a career through studies. Come and let us take pledge that we will improve sports culture in our country so that budding sportspersons can become good sportsman and bring laurel to our country in coming Olympics.