Gone are the days when cricket was the “only sport” that ruled the hearts of Indians. Owing to the influx of sporting leagues, we now are witnessing tremendous growth. Gradually, India is marching towards the glorious path of becoming a multi-sporting nation. While there is still a lot to achieve, we agree that the wind of change has started flowing.
Talking about this journey, at our recently concluded expert panel discussion we had, Mr.Vinit Karnik (Business Head – Entertainment, Sports and Live Event at Group M), share insights on how some crucial initiatives of the government are thus stepping stones towards success, he says, “Khelo India initiative promises to build structure at school & university level, which will enable India to play sport.” It’s notable to witness the kind of movement these initiatives have created.
The transformation is kind of slow but steady. Starting right at the school level, students are now taught the importance and value of participating in active sports.
The change is however working at two folds. While students are encouraged to opt for sports, even parents are broadening their perspective and letting their mindsets evolve. Sharing a personal experience Ms.Reema Sanghavi (MD – Maximus MICE & Media Solutions Pvt Ltd and Co-Founder, Pinkathon), exclaims, “As a parent, I wish my son pursues sports & becomes a sportsman.While I want him to also be good at academics, I want him to experience, what is it like to be on the field. I think as parents , thats the shift in dimension and thinking that India needs to witness today.”
Having said that, a lot of parents have gradually gotten comfortable with the idea of building sports as a career. The presence of numerous tournaments and leagues is contributing in creating more job roles thus adding onto becoming a lucrative opportunity. “The fact that we have leagues for more sports today than we ever had before shows how far we’ve come in recognizing sports more than just a pass time” – quips Mr.Sanjog Gupta, (Senior V.P., Star India Pvt Ltd) further elaborating on how these opportunities are the doors of success for both the athletes as well as the mangers. Since there are a plethora of opportunities now made available, even parents are gradually being comfortable with the idea of sports as a career and that is a huge leap to be celebrated.
So can we now really say that we have managed to progress? Well, not so soon! “For our country to be recognized as a sporting nation on the global map, it’s essential to develop at the grassroots level & initiatives such as Khelo India become the flag-bearers for the same,” affirms, Mr.Nilesh Kulkarni (Founder-Director, IISM)
While initiatives like ‘Khelo India’ are imperative, it’s only once the mindsets broaden that we will truly experience what it is to be emerged as a multi-sporting nation! Watch our erudite speakers shed some more light, click here