The NAPESS Journal of Physical Education & Sports Science, Under the aegis of NAPESS
ISSN 2229 – 7049 NAPESS – Journal Of Physical Education And Sports Science (Print)
ISSN 2229 – 7316 NAPESS – Journal Of Physical Education And Sports Science (Online)
12008 Vol: 1 Issue: 2008

PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS OF INDIAN SPORTS

Author: S Muniraju —  Co-Author: Dr. Sundar Raj Urs —  Date: 2008-11-01

Abstract:

Ours is a country where encouragement comes after achievement. Sports are always ranked below academics and are seen more as a hobby than a profession and thus, are not integrated with formal education. Unlike America where most of the parents make it a point to attend a basketball game or a soccer match of their children, most parents in India try to discourage children from taking sports too seriously.

If the age old "all work and no play make Jack a dull boy", is to be believed, then there are many dull boys in India. We may pride ourselves in some super successes of our overnight heroes and glorify their rags to riches stories but the fact remains that the condition of sports in India is deplorable. While there is a huge celebration for an Abhinav Bindra, Vijendra Kumar and Sushil Kumar, every now and then, the euphoria is short-lived. Criticism soon follows but everything is gradually forgotten till yet another infrequent victory seizes our attention and we start again. But on deeper introspection we'll find that numerous factors contribute to the sorry state of sports in our country.

Our sports infrastructure is begging for changes. There is no doubt that there is abundance of talent and potential, yet there are various reasons why Indians are unable to succeed in any sport other than cricket.

In a country as vast and diverse as ours, it's only the government and its vehicles that can play an effective role. The problem is that the system is so deep-rooted and well entrenched that it's the main reason for the chaos around us.

Key Words: Sports, Problem, Prospect, Remedies

-*-*-*-

PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS OF INDIAN SPORTS

By

S Muniraju1 and Dr. Sundar Raj Urs2

Research Scholar, University College of Physical Education, Bangalore University

Email: muniraj7575@gmail.com

Reader, University College of Physical Education, Bangalore University

Email: sundarrajurs@yahoo.co.in

ABSTRACT:

Ours is a country where encouragement comes after achievement. Sports are always ranked below academics and are seen more as a hobby than a profession and thus, are not integrated with formal education. Unlike America where most of the parents make it a point to attend a basketball game or a soccer match of their children, most parents in India try to discourage children from taking sports too seriously.

If the age old "all work and no play make Jack a dull boy", is to be believed, then there are many dull boys in India. We may pride ourselves in some super successes of our overnight heroes and glorify their rags to riches stories but the fact remains that the condition of sports in India is deplorable. While there is a huge celebration for an Abhinav Bindra, Vijendra Kumar and Sushil Kumar, every now and then, the euphoria is short-lived. Criticism soon follows but everything is gradually forgotten till yet another infrequent victory seizes our attention and we start again. But on deeper introspection we'll find that numerous factors contribute to the sorry state of sports in our country.

Our sports infrastructure is begging for changes. There is no doubt that there is abundance of talent and potential, yet there are various reasons why Indians are unable to succeed in any sport other than cricket.

In a country as vast and diverse as ours, it's only the government and its vehicles that can play an effective role. The problem is that the system is so deep-rooted and well entrenched that it's the main reason for the chaos around us.

Key Words: Sports, Problem, Prospect, Remedies

PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS OF INDIAN SPORTS

By

S Muniraju1 and Dr. Sundar Raj Urs2

Research Scholar, University College of Physical Education, Bangalore University

Email: muniraj7575@gmail.com

Reader, University College of Physical Education, Bangalore University

Email: sundarrajurs@yahoo.co.in

"Sports is a reflection of society and in many respects, Society is a reflection of sports"

Introduction:

A sport is an organized , competitive , entertaining , and skilful activity requiring commitment, strategy, and fair play , in which a winner can be defined by objective means. It is governed by a set of rules or customs . Activities such as card games and board games , are classified as " mind sports " and some are recognized as Olympic sports, requiring primarily mental skills and mental physical involvement.

Sport is popular among millions of people worldwide, irrespective of sex, race, culture, religion and social class. Therefore, it is not surprising that development organizations in conjunction with international sports associations have discovered the unifying power of sport in reaching development goals at an individual, social, cultural or economic level.

Overall, sports is more than a fashion, and it is new reality. Today, sports have gained considerable, social, economical, cultural and political importance.

Concepts Defined:

a. "Sports is a reflection of society & in many respects, Society is a reflection of sports" According to Hopman P

b. Sports is a kind of diversion, which for its direct & immediate end, fun, pleasure and delight & which is dominated by a spirit of moderation & generosity.

c. Guttman defines; Sports as, "Playful contests which include an important measure of physical skill"

Present Status of Sports in the Democratic Indian Society:

In Democracy, where equality of an individual plays an important role, social and democratic values have lost their significance in recent times and sports is the only force through which the lost glory can be regained.

Though India has produced many sports champions such as, Sachin Tendulkar, Vishwanathan Anand, P T Usha, Pankaj Advani, Anju Bobby George etc who are role models and inspiration to many young athletes of India the most saddening thing is that, even after 50 years of Indian independence we do not have a common sports law in our country. The government has failed to set up proper sports policies at both state and central level which has hampered the development of sports in India.

In spite of many short comings, It is true and evident that, there has been a transition in Indian sports in last few decades but in a slow and steady pace as compared to other countries who have revolutionized sports. Efforts are being made at all levels to overcome the differences in the sporting arena. Thanks to people like Ajay Maken, sports minister who was successful in passing a sports bill in the parliament, which is a major step in sports upliftment. A lot of importance is being given at recent times for sports development as the government has realized the real concept of sports as more and more people are actively involving in one or other sporting activity. People have realized the importance of fitness in the stressful routine which we live. They have also realized that, fitness could be achieved only through engaging oneself in a sporting activity.

.

Problems of Sports in India:

There are clearly innumerable problems as far as sports in India are concerned but the major problems haunting India are as below;

1. Lack of Infrastructure

2. Lack of Training

3. Corporate Apathy

4. Government Indifference

5. Other Problems

These are, of course, just a handful of obvious reasons for India's downhill ride in international sport; there are hundreds of other, more mitigating, reasons that are not so easily apparent. The biggest problem, ironically, is hidden in the solution itself.

1. Lack of Infrastructure:

Our sports infrastructure is begging for changes. There is no doubt that there is abundance of talent and potential, yet there are various reasons why Indians are unable to succeed in any sport other than cricket. Major Infrastructure concerns faced by India are as below;

1. Lack of sports facilities

2. Failure in maintaining existing facilities

3. Failure in providing facilities at primary level

4. Failure in having decentralized organizational set up

5. Supply less than demand

6. Lack of funding from the government

2. Lack of Training:

Proper coaching and training of our sportsman has been a serious problem which has resulted in poor performance. Major problems in this area are as below:

1. Lack of professional expertise

2. Lack of advanced equipments

3. Poor food habits and improper knowledge of nutrition

4. Improper coaching schedules

5. Lack of funding towards training programmes

6. Losing athletes at transition phase

3. Corporate Apathy:

The corporate indifference also has been a serious concern which has affected the sports development. To name a few;

1. Apathy in sponsoring

2. Lack of responsibility in promoting sports

3. Inequality in providing assistance

4. Failure in creating job opportunities for meritorious sportsman

5. Commercialized outlook

4. Government Indifference:

There are many problems that has led to the decline of sports in India but the major one being the failure of government machinery. The major problems in this category are listed below;

1. Government apathy towards popular sports

2. Failure in marketing other sports

3. Improper functioning and funding

4. Failure in creating career options

5. Failure in organizational set up

6. Failure in implementing proper sports policies

7. Failures of government run organizations such as, SAI and other sports bodies.

8. Unprofessional organization and administration

5. Some other key problems affecting the growth of Indian sports:

1. Improper management of sports bodies:

Probl ems that are seen at management level can be dubbed as the root of all problems in sports today.

2. Media:

Next in the queue is the role of the media. Media, just like the sponsors is interested in news that can draw the attention of the people. This is a responsible organization considered the fourth pillar in any country. Media should take an active role in promoting other sports be played by Media.

3. Career Development:

No matter how passionate a person is about a sport, he or she is often forced to give it up for a more 'lucrative' career option. A study indicates that participation decreases as level (interschool, district, state) increases.

4. Economy :

E conomics of scale is a major talking point in the sports today. Inequality in the finances is a major threat to popular sports. Economic imbalances are a major drawback in the sport today.

5. Grass Roots:

Development of Sport at grass root level should be a focus of all sports governing bodies across India, unfortunately only the popular sports, which are country specific, manage to flourish at grass root levels. Development of grass root sports is the starting point of disciplined and structured atheism of the future.

6. Political Interference:

Politics has crept every corner of the sporting arena which has been a serious set back for its development.

7. Discipline:

D iscipline in Sports is a major problem in the past and even consists today. That's the reason why there is negligence in the case of Doping, Match fixing, biased selection procedures, violence in sports.

Conclusion:

However hopeless the situation may seem, there are still remedies that can be employed to change the scenario for the better. Better facilities, better equipment, better funds will come about with a better attitude. We need to have a holistic approach towards sports development taking into account the health, recreational, social and economic benefits. Not only it offers a chance of fostering national pride but also helps in developing a team spirit that brings together people from different communities and states of society, thus succors in building high level of tolerance and understanding. Concrete steps to improve the image of Indian sports from its abysmal status need to be undertaken.

Sports are an important segment of our country and also it is a prestige issue. Nowadays, the Cricket is famous game and this game is liked by all the persons compared with other games in India. But the government of India has not given equal importance to all kinds of sports except cricket. This is one of the main problems of Indian sports. Besides, this sports person has faced a lot of problems such as economic, political and environmental problems. As a result, the performance of sports person in India has been declining when compared with other countries. Therefore, the government should take necessary efforts to reduce the problems of sports person. By doing so, Indian sports will definitely achieve a lot in future.

REMEDIES:

1. Physical Education should be made mandatory in the curriculum which will help generate both interest and participation in sports through which healthy future citizens are produced.

2. Basic sports infrastructure facilities and planning of sports activities in the curriculum should be provided at the elementary level. The facilities should not be centralized as it fails to reach other sporting communities.

3. Instead of organizing the sports meet at centralized place which only concentrates on particular locality. The programmes need to be spread across. So that, it not only spreads the sporting culture but also helps in creating sports awareness among communities & develops the sporting village.

4. Proper coaching facilities & also professional expertise with fine technical knowledge shall help in yielding better results.

5. The government should emphasize more on indigenous and less popular sports in the country instead of concentrating on the popular sports, which is already deep rooted.

6. The governments run organizations such as SAI and other sports bodies should be made to function effectively. Implementation of effective sports policies shall help in the betterment of sports in India.

7. Media should play a pivotal role in sports promotion. It should not concentrate only on developed sports like 'Cricket' but should also focus on promoting the less popular sports in the country such as, Football, Basketball, Shuttle Badminton, Athletics etc

8. The allocation of budget towards sports and its proper utilization should be fair and impartial from the government and Government should maintain accountability in spending money on sportsman and sports bodies etc

9. We should adopt a scientific approach towards things by methodically approaching the problems, things will most definitely ameliorate. A strategic implementation of new ideas will improve the condition of all sports in India.

10. NGO development structure or private corporate undertaking may help in getting more funds. Corporate sector must give equal assistance and limelight to other sports other than cricket.

REFERENCES:

  1. Byrne Julie E " O God of Players': Immaculate College Basketball and American Catholic Women's Pleasure , 1939-1975 " Duke University, Durham, USA, 2000
  2. Cooper Pamella L " 26.2 Miles in America: The History of the marathon Footrace in the United States ", University of Maine, Oxford, USA, 1995
  3. Dunning, Eric 'A Selection of Reading' in 'Sociology of Sports' Taylor & Francis group (Rout ledge), 2003
  4. David Underdown (2000), "Start of Play", Allen Lane, p.3
  5. Eldon, Synder E and Elmer Spreitzor 'Social Aspects of Sports' Prentice Hall, New Jersey, USA, 1989
  6. Eastaway and Rob (2004), " What Is a Googly?: The Mysteries of Cricket Explained ", Great Britain: Robson Works, pp. 24.
  7. Fish, Joel & Magee, Susan (2003), 101 Ways to Be a Terrific Sports Parent, Fireside, p. 168
  8. Figel, Jan - European Year of Education through Sport, Brussels, 2 December 2004
  9. Greg Couch-'Money a bad influence on sports', The Chicago sun times, July 27, 2003
  10. H S Altham (1962), "A History of Cricket", Volume 1 (to 1914), George Allen & Unwin, p.21
  11. Natan Alex 'Sport and Politics' in 'Sports Culture and Society' Loy John Wed, Mc Milan, Toronto, 1969
  12. Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language (1967), Unabridged. Springfield, MA: G&C Merriam Company. p. 2206.

Back To Table of Content

Vol: 1 Issue: 2008