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Sports Your arena, your grounds, your pitch...

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Old July 27th, 2000, 04:24 PM
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echarcha echarcha is offline
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Unhappy

As the Sydney Olympics are starting in just a few days, do you think we are going there? I am sorry, but I am unaware if we are even qualified for any event.

Every time the Olympics come, we have only our hockey victory of ages ago to talk about. After that?? Nothing!

There will be great debate and articles and editorials at how and why we never manage to get a single gold and this and that. But have we ever looked at why we are in such a state of affairs? Despite our mind boggling population we do not have a single athlete to win the gold.

Sadly, the problem lies with our policies again. The only game that was always given any significance was cricket. The only thing that DoorDarshan ever showed prominently was cricket. Further comemrcialisation of cricket by way of Sharjah one day matches helped make cricket a more commercial and feasible career for many. This was good in a way. Due to participation of commercial bodies, cricket became a profitable sport for the various television stations, the players and many more. (and now the bookeis

Just imagine if we had allowed privatisation of TV long ago. This way there would have been more exposure to hockey and footbal and other games.

How? Well, there would be comemrically run clubs like the Cricket Board of India - who would have many teams from different states for football or hockey or basketball.

These clubs would then arrange tournaments with other teams. Then this would attract the private television companies and so these games would gain popularity. There would be corporate sponsors. Imagine having football or hockey season on TV with teams from different states playing each other. After a hard day's work, I would love to have a 60 or 90 minute capsule of hockey or football in the evening on TV.

Let me explain further - In today's age of instant communication and satellite TV, unless a game is commercialised and packaged as a entertainment capsule on TV, it is very unlikely that it will succeed and people will take it up as a serious career.

In the USA, you have NBA for basketball, NFL for American Football and then ther is NHL and many more. These private organsiations have made a perfect industry of sports. I dont see anything wrong with it. This has generated a lot of employment in the sports field, and mind you not just for the players. In the US, young people can aspire to be sportsmen because they know they can make a career out of it...atleast make a living out of it.

In India, only cricket became a industry. {And currently botched by our cricket board } So any young person wishing to take up sports would only be thinking of cricket. Which other sports are there in India which can offer a career or financial security? Sadly, none!

So who will risk their livelihood and take up a sport which does not have a commerical value?

I invite you to contirbute your views and point out if I am wrong in my opinions.


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Old July 28th, 2000, 01:27 AM
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Arrow

Echarcha,
You are right; sports, in India is not regarded as a career option. Games/Sports are regarded as the childrens evening pastime. I still remember my parents used to tell me that time for play is from evening 5.30 to 6.30. After that you come home and study or do homework. And yes, in school, weekly four hours were allocated for Games. We rarely have good physical trainers in schools. Also most schools do not procure required equipment for sports. If you see in contrast the institutions in west, they dedicate more time for sports in the school. They have a gym within the school. Performance in sports at school matters in the western countries. I wonder how many schools in India have that kind of infrastructure. The mindset of parents, even most educated ones is, "there are only two career possibility for my kid", "doctor or an engineer". Commercial aspect of a sport comes in as soon as it becomes popular. Cricket is the best example. Do we see any hockey player in the AD's of Pepsi? No!!
So in order that India becomes competetive in sports, like they say, "Catch Em Young". We have to :
1. Develop infrastructure within schools and revise some educational policies.
2. Change our mindset, and accept sports as a career.
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