Is India Finally Becoming A Multi-Sport Nation?
While India was once a nation only obsessed with cricket, the interest in a large variety of sports has gone up over the last decade as has our participation in them. India has won more medals in the past decade than in the previous four combined, and that has to do with both people’s interest in sports as well as, of course, the emergence of many talented sportspersons in our country.
India’s performance at the Asian Games just last year illustrates how we’re on our way to becoming a multi-sport nation. While there were disappointments, namely in the field of Hockey and Kabaddi, the victories outweighed the losses. With 15 gold, 24 silver and 30 bronze medals we found new sporting celebrities in Neeraj Chopra, Arpinder Singh, Vinesh Phogat, Swapna Barman, Dutee Chand and many more in sports as diverse as rowing, triple jump, heptathlon and even Equestrian events.
While the investment in the National Sports Federation has taken a small cut in the 2019 Interim Budget, the overall investment in sports has gone up in India this year. In fact, the sports budget for 2019-2020 has been increased to Rs. 2216.92 crore from last year’s Rs. 2002.72 crore.
- The allocation for the Sports Authority of India has increased by Rs. 55 crore.
- The National Sports Development Fund is to now receive a staggering Rs. 70 crore going up from last year’s Rs. 2 crore.
- The incentive fund for sportspersons has been recommended to receive Rs. 89 crore this year in contrast to last year’s Rs. 63 crore, with the encouragements and awards for sportspersons being allocated an additional Rs. 94.07 crore on top of last year’s Rs. 316.93 crore.
- The Khelo India National Program for Sports development got a Rs. 50.31 crore increase in funding.
The Way Forward: Be the Change
India brought in 6 medals at the 2012 London Olympics and 2 at the 2016 Rio Olympics and can only hope to bring in more in the future. While it is pointing things in the right direction, the success stories can be bigger and better when sport is inculcated in the culture of the country.
The change is slow but sure. Awareness about sports other than cricket has gone up in last 10 years. This has created a demand for professionals in team management, player management and PR. Riding on the fact that the love for sports is present in all walks of life, a rise in league based tournaments has occurred in different sports:
- Indian Super League for Football,
- Pro-Kabaddi League for Kabaddi,
- Premiere Badminton League for Badminton,
- Hockey India League for Hockey,
- Pro Wrestling League for Wrestling and
- Indian Premiere League for Cricket.
Therefore it is safe to say that careers in the field of sports, for people other than athletes is now trending. If you want to build a career in sports management you might want to look into relevant courses offered by the best institutes in India.