What Ails Indian Sports Essays

India has once in a while produced sportsmen of international calibre, but on the whole, the state of athletics and sports in the country leaves much to be said and desired.

It is not the youth of the country but the people at the helm of affairs that have failed the country. India did produce sportsmen of international standard but their number can be counted on finger-tips, There is certainly something wrong somewhere.

Maharaja of Patiala encouraged and patronised Gama, a short-statured youth, in the field of sports and Games, a power dynamo, took the western world by surprise when he beat the top-most wrestlers of the west in Yugoslavia, Dara Singh did perform rare feats in the area of Wrestling Dhian Chand beat the British in their own game of hockey dribbling many opponents with an ordinary tree-branch.

In fact, the British called him a hockey wizard. The achievement in the game of cricket, another game of the west, was no less astounding when Sir Ranjit Singh played it, Milkha Singh was our fastest runner. Today P.T. Usha keeps India’s flag flying as a runner of international repute.

Sunil Gavaskar. Kapil Dev and Sachin Tendulkar have brought fame and glory to India as the top-ranking players of cricket world. But it is a matter of sorrow and shame that a vast country like India could produce only a small number of world-famous athletes and sportsmen so far.

Our medals from the Olympics have been but rare. The question why we fail miserably at the Olympics haunts us. To say that most games at the Olympics are of western origin and so we have a disadvantage is no answer.

The Chinese and Koreans are orientals and yet they score well. There are several reasons that account for the poor performance of our various teams in Olympic or other competitions.

Firstly, Indian sportsmen who show any promise get special coaching only when they are through college level or when they are full-grown adults. This is not the case with other countries. In other countries, children who display an aptitude for a certain sport get a special type of treatment.

Besides providing a liberal education they are given special coaching in sports or athletics. Facilities provided to them are quite advanced. In India our whole orientation to education is different.

The emphasis till he is in school is on general education and very little is done to exploit and promote the talent of a sportsman in the child. Chinese acrobats and gymnasts from Eastern European countries start getting training or coaching from their early childhood.

Another important reason for our poor performance in sports is the process of selection of the players for the athletic meets or other tournaments. Nepotism, favouritism and pulls are often used to get under-rated sportsmen Selection for sports meets of international standard.

The overall performance of such staff is bound to be disappointing. Many talented sportsmen are Sidelined in the process. There is no dearth of talent in the villages and school, But no one bothers to spot it, let alone promote and encourage it. Even the Facilities for the coaching of sportsmen are not very good.

In other countries, candidates for the Olympic Games usually do practice for all the five years until the games are held. In our country, practice begins a year or so before.

Lastly, as in many other walks of life, Indians lack team spirit. We do not think of ourselves as a nation. We play against another nation. We aim ar individual kudos in the games. We keep our personal interests above the national interests.

Lack of discipline and Team-spirit is bound to be there the circumstances. Such sportsmen and athletes try to build their personal image at the cost of image of the country. Such a tendency needs to be curbed sternly at the earliest