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Citizens Demand Reforms in Sports Bodies and Departments for Better Performance in Next Olympics

  • 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:

  1. The political influence and participation from the sports bodies should be completely eliminated
  2. The sports bodies should only be headed by sportsmen who have played at national and international levels
  3. Investments should be made on improving people’s interest in not-so-popular sports
  4. National/international level athletes should be given free medical care
  5. More sports injury rehabilitation centers should be opened in different parts of the country
  6. Training facilities of international standards should be provided to our athletes
  7. Investments should be made in taking the sports infrastructure to international levels
  8. Parents should be counselled that their children can make a career in sports too
  9. Good media coverage should be done around other sports except cricket to make them popular
  10. National athletes should be given some monthly stipend to take care of their daily expenses
  11. 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
  12. Coaches should be selected after a thorough test and they should be reviewed on a strict matrix bi-annually
  13. Coaches should also be trained on developing a career plan for the students
  14. Government should invest in opening quality sports academies with the vision of producing national/international level sports persons
  15. All sports academies should have good hostel facilities for the students
  16. Selection for teams should be completely based on performance
  17. Government should tie up with private players to run sports education and training colleges
  18. Sports bodies should be closely monitored by the Government
  19. All sports bodies must have at least 50% accomplished ex-sports players on their board
  20. The entire player selection process should be transparent and have zero discretion
  21. It should be made mandatory for the schools to have a playground
  22. Special schemes should be announced by the Government for girls who want to pursue sports as a career option
  23. All government schools should have good coaches for various sports like tennis, badminton hockey, kabaddi, football etc.
  24. 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
  25. Government should give scholarships to the achievers and support them with training, scholarship and medical assistance
  26. The private sector should also follow the Government enterprises in offering jobs to sports persons
  27. The Government could give tax exemption to private sector for investment in sports/games
  28. The tenure of heading such bodies by a person should be limited to maximum two years
  29. 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
  30. Corporates should be encouraged to sponsor different non-cricket sports players and teams and participate in various competitions beyond cricket
  31. Government must consider establishing a National University of Sports & Games
  32. Government may consider opening CSR for development of sports players
  33. Sports Ministry should financially support holding of more and more international events in India in as many disciplines of sports as possible.

About LocalCircles

LocalCircles takes Social Media to the next level and makes it about Communities, Governance and Utility. It enables citizens to connect with communities for most aspects of urban daily life like Neighborhood, Constituency, City, Government, Causes, Interests and Needs, seek information/assistance when needed, come together for various initiatives and improve their urban daily life. LocalCircles is free for citizens and always will be!

Photo Caption: Poll Summary

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