Asian Games 2018 Success Points to Potential in Indian Sports: But how to Tap it?
| Anuradha Das - 09 Sep 2018

Just a few days back the 18th Asian Games got over in Indonesia. From mesmerizing opening to a breath-taking closing ceremony, everything seemed perfect. A total of 45 countries participated in this tournament and almost 10,000 athletes were there to participate in almost 58 disciplines. India was there too to prove its sporting caliber­. And what a proud moment indeed! India harvested a record of 69 medals — with 15 gold, 24 silver and 30 bronze; finishing at the 8th place. Congrats to the Indian contingent; it made a history and proved its worth in badminton, table-tennis, wrestling, shooting, boxing, athletics, lawn tennis, bridge, kabaddi, hockey, and many more by winning one or the other medal.

With such modest means if our players can do this much then think about their existing capability and future potential. Today if we see closely our players’ profiles, most of them come from humble background both from rural and urban areas. Several of them are uneducated. Still they do their best and give us a medal.

Several questions arise, if such is the potential. Most important question is: what can be done to tap the potential?  Why is it that educated people from good backgrounds do not come into sports? What is it that stops them? Where are we lacking? Perhaps the government is not giving them what they need as in terms of good infrastructure and job assurance which they look for.

On the other hand, a little effort and we have a battery of talent available in the rural areas, that was tapped timely and that has done wonders at this Asiad. These efforts are also bringing up painful state of affairs in our country. What an irony that Harish Kumar, an Asian Games bronze medalist got busy again in serving tea in his brother’s roadside tea stall. We are sure that the government will certainly do something about these instances. But there is a responsibility of the private sectors too to share their profits for the sporting side of our society. The private sector must understand the economics of sports and they might well be into a win-win situation.

We all need to join hands and do something about our sportspersons so that we can produce much more sportspersons from all over India and they can have respectable life because they deserve it. Some may say India’s performance in the Asian Games is like a drop in the ocean but they should know that a drop does count and can make a difference. Our performance can be better if we start celebrating even the drop’s contribution to the ocean.

Our questioning of the sports system must continue. That will help finding better answers. Moe discourse on the subject will contribute to the ‘sports culture’ in India. Anyway, the best is yet to be!

Photo credit: Reuters

(The writer, Ms. Anuradha Das is a Singer, Media personality and writes as a Columnist. She can be reached through Email:anuradhadas900@gmail.com and Twitter:@AnuradhaDas900 )


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