Since childhood we are listening from our Parents and elders that “Padhoge Likhoge to banoge nawab, kheloge kudoge to hoge kharab” ,Study will make you rich, Playing will spoil you. In movie MS Dhoni – An Untold Story reversed this through this song.
There are many parts of country where child decides to make Sports as a profession, he must be criticized. In India Sports is just hobby or the way to make yourself fit, not more than that. But then too few are decided to make it profession but there are following challenges
Convince Parents: This is the biggest hurdle in Indian society. Parents always want their kids to become Doctor, Engineer, Lawyer, CA etc but not a sportsperson. I remember when I was in class 9th, I wanted to become cricketer in 2000 but my father wanted me to make career in some white color job. He asked me just one thing how many player are there in Indian Team from our state (UP), the answer was NO.
There were many players in cricket who played 15+ years for State but never got chance, Ashish Viston Zaidi, highest wicket taker in Ranji, but never get selected in Indian Cricket Team. And there was lot of state biased selection at that time. Now time is changing parents are trying their kid to become Sachin Tendulkar but not in other sports, Why? But knowing the challenge in this field they always put study in priority.
Money Factor: Lets say you are able to convince your parents or they wanted you to be in sports. Parents always put their kids in that kind of sports where lot of money is there. So Cricket is always first choice.
I was just thinking that Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Have they started playing cricket to become rich, the answer should be NO, they wanted to play for country and make India proud. They are passionate about cricket, I think if you ask Sachin to bat 24 hours without food, he would do that because he was passionate about batting. Yes he is multi billionaire but he never run after that, money ran after him. How?
Competition Factor: The easiest way to earn is study and get job, rest all other fields have a lot of competition. Lets say if you want to play cricket for country, there is high possibility that you won’t get chance because there are only 15 players selected in the team and usually they don’t leave the team. Now answer is why not other sports, the reason is clear ,“Money Factor”. Cricketers are like celebrity in India, Media is following them like “Ants behind Sweets” whatever they are doing, is in news, which movie they are watching, with whom they are shopping, which girl they are dating etc. that is why they have a lot of ads. but in other sports this is not the condition. Once the event is over, nobody care about the game.
I remember during Olympics everybody was talking about prospects of medals. We won 3 medals in Olympics that is also because of our powerful girls, PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik. People were proud about that, but I felt shame on our Country. We are 1.3 Billions and won 3 medals (1 Silver, 2 Bronze). In Olympics, 206 countries participate and in Cricket World Cup,12 countries. So the insult is much more over there. We are famous for Technology, Literature, Science, Medical around the world but what is our image in Sports, we only know how to play cricket. Why?
Support Factor: The other biggest reason is support factor in India for sports. In Cricket BCCI is separate organization and spends/earns lot of money but in other sports the condition is much worst. Abhinav Bindra won Olympics Gold Medal in 2008 because of his father not because of support from our country. It’s insane that many of our National players struggled for support in big events. In recent Olympics, one of our Player fainted in Marathon because no one was there to give her water.
We are thankful to few rich people of country who are investing in sports now and get Support factor from outside. Mukesh Ambani supported cricket in IPL (which at least saved the future of cricketers), Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly promoted Football, to provide platform and support to Football players. Abhishek Bachhan promoted Kabaddi and Aamir Khan is promoting Table Tennis. Yes these are the people who are giving back to sports what they got from it but how long?
Career after Sports: Usually Sportsperson has career max 30-35 years depends on sports he/she plays. Now what after that because life never stops there. what kind of profession he will choose, either dependent on the job offered by Govt (Very Few), or do business of something. There was one movie came sometime back “Paan Singh Tomar” starred Irfan Khan, That movie really ask questions about the future of sportsperson in India.
People may blame Government for this but I will blame people of our country. If they put their kids in sports other than cricket, and get professional coaching from them their future will automatically secure. Government can not give job to everyone its responsibility of us to take care of our sportsperson who made our country proud. In India, if you are Teacher by profession you can easily survive on your own but if you are sportsperson you can’t. Why?
Non-mandatory Curriculum : In school sports is never be a priority. School is known by its academic results not by sports. Now a days few schools are trying to make students to play at least one sports but that is non-mandatory curriculum.
Means if student doesn’t perform in sports its okay but if he doesn’t perform in academics he is not allowed to proceed in next standard. Shouldn’t be sports examination there and if kid is not able to perform then he should not proceed? Shouldn’t we make sports mandatory in all schools like other subjects? Shouldn’t we send our kids for professional sports coaching after school like academics. Why playing sports important only during summers?
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Interest Factor: We have interest only in those sports which we ever played or know the rules. I don’t think anyone in India is there who do not know the rules of Cricket but it is not the same for other sports. I myself played 10+ sports and watch all games in Olympics except Golf. If you ask anyone to watch hockey match that person won’t, in fact if you ask anyone to name hockey players, people would failed to do that but in cricket they can tell you players of three generations.
During any big events of other sports, interest built but vanish as soon as it get over. Olympics also comes once in four years but we watch other sports only during Olympics, why not the same with Cricket. The reason is BUZZ created by media for men’s cricket, which is not there for other sports including women cricket too. Have you seen “Mauka Mauka” advertisements?
I feel like that if we make sports as mandatory like other subjects in all schools it will be fruitful in many ways, we will take care of our sportsperson and win more medals in Olympics. Lets target at least 10 medals in Olympics 2020.