Friday, 7 February 2014

Is the government in for sports?

 "There is always room for improvement." It is very easy to blame the government for all the work they do.
"Before you criticize someone,walk a mile in their shoes."
Sports is one of the concerns of the government out of many issues that it looks after.We must understand that the government is doing its best for the development in the field of sports.
It is estimated that the Indian government spends about US$ 500 million every year for sports itself.
Miracles cannot happen overnight. This situation will sure change, but it does need time.
              BUT ON THE OTHER HAND
How many times have we heard parents brag about their teen acing a test? And how many times have we heard these parents brag about their teen placing first in a race? Why is it that despite being equally exhausting (albeit physically) and requiring incomparable dedication, sports is regarded as a waste of time? Why is sports always an 'extra' curricular activity, and not something worth full-focus training? Why is it that when a child shows a penchant for mathematics, his future is considered 'set', but when he shows talent for a sport, there is apprehension as to where his life will head?
Every time, EVERY SINGLE TIME we ask these questions, we get a standard answer: "Beta, this is India." (Son,this is India)
Now we could bang our heads over this statement like we do every time, or we could look at the source of this school of thought.

Obviously, our parents want the best for us, so they wouldn't insist upon excelling in academics unless it had some material benefit down the line. And, this is amply validated by the seven-digit salary packages of engineers and doctors. Also, it's pretty easy to take the job security bait: the odds of getting (and keeping) a job as an engineer are greater than those of becoming a successful sports person. Moreover, training for technical fields is far more abundant than sports training.
The question arises - why such a sorry state of affairs?

It's like the chicken-or-egg situation...did poor sports facilities arise due to the meagre demand for them, or did the majority's disinterest in professional sports rise out of underdeveloped sports facilities? Either way, rectification needs to begin somewhere.
Changing mindsets is a monstrous task, involving too many soft issues and subtleties. A more straightforward outlook would be to make changes showing quick results:
a. Allotment of funds specifically for sports (let's face it...there's no free lunch)
b. Fulfilment of the benefits promised to families of sports persons
c. Setting up of recruitment programmes for trainers as well as young talent.
d. Creation of a wider arena of opportunities for sports persons by increasing, for instance, the number of tournaments we take part in.
These are four out of a probable 100 solutions that a dedicated brainstorm group could come up with. Their cumulative effect, though, would result in a change at the household level:
a. More support towards pursuing sports.
b. Less pressure on adolescents to pursue a subject they don't want to.
c. Working towards  athletic skill enhancement without any time being wasted in forcing the child into doing what he isn't cut out for.
What an ideal situation, no? A little faith, a little effort, a little distancing of politics from a noble cause, a little shift of focus from personal benefit to community benefit, is probably all it'll take for change to happen.
A repeated concept maybe, but worth thinking over.

So probably the government is not the only one to blame for the discouragement of sports.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Why is it essential for kids to participate in sports?

'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy'. Further, it is said that “Health is Wealth.” We can have a sound mind when we have a sound body.
Sports is like a blessing in disguise. It not only helps in building up stamina but also teaches students that a game ought to be played according to rules and regulations with cheerfulness. It helps in the development of our personality, mind and body, and teaches discipline,honesty,hard work, determination and unity. It inculcates a sense of tolerance and nurtures team spirit while helping one stay fit.
It has been observed that greater physical activity leads to better performance in academics since it improves concentration.It helps to build our immune system.       Many are the importance of sports so let each one of us make the best of it!!!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   


Thursday, 30 January 2014

Mom, Dad, why not Sports?

Parents are a big support for their kids in life. When children in India think of sports as a career some parents deny it while some parents support this decision.
Some parents may stress upon the fact that winning secures more importance than sportsmanship and learning or enjoying sports.  This may also lead to the development of a wrong attitude towards the ethics of sports.Parents must encourage their children instead of pushing them beyond their abilities. Motivation is the best way to support.
"Its not whether you get knocked down,its whether you get up"-Vince Lombardi (American footballer).
Parents should always let their children set their own goals in sports as well as life. They shouldn't let their child loose hope. Criticizing and yelling only discourages and lowers their confidence.
This is one of the many reasons that has led to less sports players.

Cricket Vs Other Sports

India is one of the most backward countries when it comes to sports. Its not only about the competency of our sportsman and athletes  but also about the apathy of administrators, media and the society. The media is obsessed only with cricket and refuses to promote any other sports. The general public goes crazy over even a small achievement in cricket but is least bothered about greater achievements in other sports. Even the longest reigning world chess champion Vishwanathan Anand is a far lesser known than even a reserve IPL player. Less said the better about our sorts administrators and the government. They are more interested in foreign junkets than advancement of sports. We do not have a comprehensive sports policy that can help us build a strong backbone of sports administration to nurture healthy sports environment in the country.
In short there is wide spread unwillingness in every section of our society to develop a strong sporting culture. Surely there are enough skilled people but our sports administration is too lazy to challenge the status quo.

Sportastic Career?

Stressing upon sports, it is a general view in which education has become a more 'attention seeking' subject, with sports, a gradually depreciating topic (in terms 'career choosing'). With respect to the aspect of career choosing, sports extensively lacks in votes.
'A good player, aiming to make a career in sports is looked down upon, where as an inefficient, under-performing engineer is given more importance.' Politics also finds prominence in the field of sports. May a player be mediocre, but with political impact or a political backing he/ she is at advantage in sport selections and trials.
Sports no longer seems to be a national priority. It has become a ‘trivial topic’, having almost no importance. Recently, India has been kicked out of the IOC (International Olympic Committee), due to the corrupt actions undertaken by the Indian officials. Although India has a strong supply of promising sportsmen and athletes, certain political as well as socio-economical drawbacks of our country have countered the success of promotion of sports in our country.

Sports vs. Academics

Nelson Mandela once said “Sport has the power to change the world…it has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers.”
How many people do you think follow this in the same spirit as it was quoted?
We live in a country where education in academics or rather literal education is paid more importance than sports. Statistics say:
  • Students' mindset and opinion about sports changes with age- at the age of ten, majority of the students develop a choice of making sports, a career, while at the age of fifteen, only two out of every 25 would like sports as a career.
  • 8 out of every 13 students have witnessed discouragement for sports and promotion in academics.
  • 9 out of every 10 students prefer academics over sports.
(based on a survey conducted in various schools in Pune)
Then comes the question of funds and income. It is a serious issue when players and athletes are restricted from sports opportunities due to lack of funds. It is a general mindset of people that white collared jobs fetch more money and income rather than sports which involves rigorous training along with a struggle to ‘create an impact in their chosen field of sports.’
Moreover coaching facilities, equipments, and other sports related issues lack in quality as well as quantity. The number of coaches and instructors belonging to this field is also not sufficient.
However, with certain games like cricket gaining prominence in today’s scenario has certainly led to an improvement in the field of sports. With the latest state of the art Sahara stadium, and industrialists like the Ambanis, Tatas, Venkys supporting the cause of sports has seen a shift in the attitude of people countrywide.
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