massive push

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 12 Feb 2018 10:58:10

UNION Sports Minister Mr. Rajyavardhan Rathore is justifiably happy that this year’s Union Budget has sought to give a massive push to development and upgradation of sports infrastructure by allocating more funds for the Khelo India Programme. This shows that the Government is now in position to allocate more funds for developing and upgrading sports infrastructure in the country. This also indicates a positive Governmental thinking on promotion of sports. This is in tune with India’s rising stature as the economic power. India should aim to excel in every field of human endeavour and sports is one of the indicators of enriching life conditions and rich culture of a nation’s populace. 

Hitherto promotion of sports received very negligible importance in the thinking process of the country’s planners and consequently financial and infrastructural support too remained inconsequential from the Government, whether from the States or Centre. It is no surprise, therefore, that India has been fairing very poorly at prestigious mega global sports events like the Olympic Games. It is not that the country lacked talent. It is that the sports organisations conducting and promoting various sports lacked the required financial and infrastructural muscle, an essential ingredient for promotion and development of any sports.

This situation is very well exemplified by the manner in which cricket has developed all over the country because the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) spent the riches it amassed on the promotion of the game and developing infrastructure. The BCCI quite justifiably can boast of the infrastructure that is envy of every international cricket board.

Not only that it has well laid down promotional, coaching facilities all over the country and has a very meticulously planned year-long calender for competitions at various age-group levels. This ensures a continuous flow of talent with upward movement ensured for talented youngsters. This model of promotion of sports is worth emulating by every sports organisation in the country where promotion of the game gets precedence over everything. Though politics is as much part of BCCI, it has never affected the game.

The Central Government sponsored Khelo India Programme, a replacement of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan, which has received massive push in this year’s Central budget, should address these aspects of sports promotion on priority basis with a well laid down policy of catching the talent in their young age and providing all necessary facilities a sportsman or a sports team needs. As a sports person himself, Mr. Rajyavardhan Rathore is in a better position to understand this.