- 86% citizens believe induction of accomplished sportsmen in various sports bodies will significantly improve selection and training of players
- 92% citizens believe funds misuse and corruption is common in State Sports Departments and Bodies
- 89% citizens believe that sufficient efforts have not been made by Government of India in last decade to promote sports (beyond cricket)
Winning medals in Olympics is not just about sports it affects the collective spirit of the Nation. India won just one silver and one bronze medal in the Rio Olympics that concluded today but the whole nation cheered. Beyond the low count of medals that we got the nation cheered the performance of every participant who even got close to winning one. The aspirations of the nation are high in all areas we have the youngest population of any country and the pride of a nation is built on performance in mega sporting events like Olympics.
Our poor performance is already being analysed by critics and experts but the root cause is not being addressed. Therefore, LocalCircles a citizen engagement platform did a study on the problems that we face in improving our status as a sporting nation. WHY WE DON’T WIN MEDALS
Olympic level sports person are not built overnight, it is a continuous process and requires time and effort. Sports bodies are expected to identify the right talent, at the right age, support and train them to Olympic level. Unfortunately, our sports bodies are not able to do this with the same rigour, barring a few exceptions like badminton. The reason is that most sporting bodies are led by non-sportsmen and bureaucrats who have never played at international levels. The politicisation of Indian sports is the root cause for the country not being able to create world class athletes. People are also tired of the political interference in sports.
Therefore the obvious question is to revamp the sports bodies in various disciplines in the country. Inducting world class sportsmen at all levels in a sports organisation, so that they can help build a culture that promotes, trains and build world class talent.
An overwhelming majority of 86 % people said in the poll that sports bodies should be headed and controlled by sportspersons. This clearly shows that India wants that to prepare for the next Olympics we should begin with restructuring our sports bodies.
Corruption was another issue that is endemic in sports bodies due to political interference, nepotism and lack of performance measures. A poor performance in the Olympics does not lead to any action against existing staff due to nepotism. 92 % of the citizen’s perception is that corruption is very high in State sports department and bodies. This perception may also be the reason that most people do not see sports as a worthwhile option for their children.
89 % of the citizens also feel that the government has not done much to make sports other than cricket popular in the country. This perception also fuels the charge that the government does not make enough efforts in promoting performance and merit in sports per-se. Please see the polls below and the crowdsourced inputs from the citizens below.
Crowd sourced Citizen inputs on how the state of sports can be improved in India:
- The political influence and participation from the sports bodies should be completely eliminated
- The sports bodies should only be headed by sportsmen who have played at national and international levels
- Investments should be made on improving people’s interest in not-so-popular sports
- National/international level athletes should be given free medical care
- More sports injury rehabilitation centers should be opened in different parts of the country
- Training facilities of international standards should be provided to our athletes
- Investments should be made in taking the sports infrastructure to international levels
- Parents should be counselled that their children can make a career in sports too
- Good media coverage should be done around other sports except cricket to make them popular
- National athletes should be given some monthly stipend to take care of their daily expenses
- They should also be given well-paying jobs so that they can concentrate on training and don’t have to worry about running a family
- Coaches should be selected after a thorough test and they should be reviewed on a strict matrix bi-annually
- Coaches should also be trained on developing a career plan for the students
- Government should invest in opening quality sports academies with the vision of producing national/international level sports persons
- All sports academies should have good hostel facilities for the students
- Selection for teams should be completely based on performance
- Government should tie up with private players to run sports education and training colleges
- Sports bodies should be closely monitored by the Government
- All sports bodies must have at least 50% accomplished ex-sports players on their board
- The entire player selection process should be transparent and have zero discretion
- It should be made mandatory for the schools to have a playground
- Special schemes should be announced by the Government for girls who want to pursue sports as a career option
- All government schools should have good coaches for various sports like tennis, badminton hockey, kabaddi, football etc.
- The gap between money allocations made by the Government and it actually reaching the sports persons should be reduced by implementing transparent processes and systems
- Government should give scholarships to the achievers and support them with training, scholarship and medical assistance
- The private sector should also follow the Government enterprises in offering jobs to sports persons
- The Government could give tax exemption to private sector for investment in sports/games
- The tenure of heading such bodies by a person should be limited to maximum two years
- A policy should be devised for grading of sports persons based on their annual performance during that year and a rank system is to be maintained at State, Central, International level against each sports discipline and they should be provided financial and training help basing on their rank
- Corporates should be encouraged to sponsor different non-cricket sports players and teams and participate in various competitions beyond cricket
- Government must consider establishing a National University of Sports & Games
- Government may consider opening CSR for development of sports players
- Sports Ministry should financially support holding of more and more international events in India in as many disciplines of sports as possible.
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Photo Caption: Poll Summary