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Message from DG

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Last Updated On: 09/11/2017 

 

Message from DG

 

  India is a country of more than 1 billion people. Its successes and weaknesses are assessed against these numbers. So also is the case with sports. However, it is a fact that less than 50 million out of more than 700 million children and youth have access to organized, competitive sport in India. The modest achievements at the international level have for so many years piggy backed on this minority, while the vast talent in the masses has remained unexplored. Broad-basing of Sport and integrating the vast multitude of youth into a selection, training and competition structure now holds forth a challenge as multi-dimensional as it is complex.

 2. Traditionally, Sports has been a low priority item on the agenda of planners and governments. Not so much because the importance of Physical Education and Sports in the development of the individual was not understood and appreciated, but because sports was a poor competitor when it came to sharing limited public resources with primary health, education and infrastructure. India, historically has lacked a sports culture and consciousness and neither has it been able to evolve, given the low priority that Sports has been accorded. Over a period of time, this has led to a series of dysfunctions which have resulted among others in an almost non-existent rural sports infrastructure, non-integration of sports with formal education, an indifference of parents and teachers towards sports curricula and little or no incentive for the youth to take up Sports as a career.

 3. The cornerstone of any policy aimed at providing universal access to sports and physical education must necessarily be the integration of sports with the formal education system. The motivational support to children has to come from teachers and trained instructors at the school level. Talent spotting and nurturing must also start from the school stage itself. Simultaneously, schools must be equipped with basic sports infrastructure or allowed to share community facilities. The sense of discipline which is so critical for sustained sports activity must be inculcated in children and this can best be done in the school environment.

 4. India is a youthful nation. The young people are at the forefront of the transformation taking place in our society and economy. Giant strides have been made in the Information, Communication and variety of other sectors. The youth are leading us into a future shaped by enthusiasm, determination and a never-say-die spirit. Sports embody the dynamism and energy of the youth. There is no dearth of talent in our vast country. The challenge lies in harnessing this talent, nurturing it, providing best facilities, training and exposure.

 5. We are now in the process of formulating and implementing a series of reforms in the Sports Sector which will build on a holistic approach to the development of Sports and Physical Education. The focus of this approach will be universal access and mass participation through the school system, urban and rural local bodies, youth and sports clubs. An organized three tier hierarchical competition structure from the village to the district level will provide lateral and vertical integration. The district will be the convergence point for National / State level Sports Federations, Sports Colleges, National and State Sports Authorities, Corporates and major Sporting clubs for picking talent for grooming and training for State and National level competitions. Basic infrastructure will be developed at the village level, with more specialized facilities available at district and State levels. Simultaneously, a major programme for training of coaches will provide the requisite number of trainers of various levels of competence and specialization to cater to the large scale training requirements. Corporate participation and sponsorship will be extended to the creation and maintenance of sports infrastructure and for providing specialized training. A special programme for elite athletes at the national level will prepare them for international competition and provide state-of-the-art training, scientific back-up and exposure. Hosting of mega, multi-disciplinary international events will be done with careful legacy planning so that the large scale investments can have lasting value in terms of the social and economic benefits and in strengthening the sports culture and promoting sporting excellence.

 6. The Sports Authority of India is the premier sports body of the country which will spearhead India's sporting ambitions and develop the environment to develop the sports culture in the country and sporting excellence.

 Best Wishes!

(Rahul Bhatnagar) 

 
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