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Rio Olympics - Sports in India

Rio Olympics - Sports in India
Sport is regarded as one of the largest industry globally in terms of employment and revenue. The Business of Sports is a multi-billion dollar global industry propelled by enormous consumer demand. The sports business means many different things to different people. This is a truly global industry, and sports stir up deep passion within spectators and players alike in countries around the world. Sports, a field in which players and champion of every state come together to make their career in it and fulfill their aspirations, their family aspirations, their society’s aspirations, their state aspirations and their nation’s aspirations. It is said that passion can lead man to success. People are now looking at sport business as a career which ten years ago was not an option. Of course, the real and inherent vision of sport remains physical activity and a substitute for war. Yes, you heard it correctly, substitute for war. Team sports may have been developed to train and prove the capability to fight and work together as a team.

Sports in India are not new and it has its origin in pre historic times and there are evidences to that affect in the form of cave paintings. India is also cradle to various modern sports and thus chess, snooker, hockey, kabaddi originated in India. India has also been host to some of the important world sporting events and thus the 1951 Asian Games, officially known as the First Asian Games, was celebrated in Delhi, India from 4 to 11 March 1951.

However, Sports in India, seems, over the years has taken a back seat and in a population of 125 Crores we struggle to get one medal in Olympics and get in to double digit in Asiad.  Why such a pathetic performance by a nation having such a vast population ? Some of the Reasons I can think of are:-

1.      Poor conditions of sports hostel run by sports authority of India (SAI);
2.      Poor infrastructure of training camps;
3.      Issue of harassment of Juniors by their seniors;
4.      Issue of sportswomen facing sexual harassment by their coaches;
5.      Lack of funds by government due to minor thinking about its low priority except cricket; (private equity investors, venture capitalists and angel investors. They can convince investors (through proposals) on options of investing and profiting in local stadiums, courts and complexes and informal sporting events which need not be recognized by official sporting bodies)
6.      Poor functioning of sports federation in the country at administrative levels etc.
7.      Doping, corruption, match fixing etc 

But we know every problem has a solution in it and so there is a need to make reforms in this field by improving the poor infrastructure into high-tech ones; CCTV should be placed at the sport room where sportswomen are getting trained; surprise checking (visit) should be done at regular basis; there should be helpline number provided and made available 24×7; cleaning of hostel and training camps should be done necessarily; cases of sexual and mental harassment should not be gone unreported for this there is need to encourage sportsperson to raise voice and make complaints, see to it that people play it honestly and there is no match fixing, proper funds to be diverted to thus field in order to make more improvements. The problem of fund is a big thing. Just like the search of funds in entrepreneurial ventures, sports sector is thus in dire need of funds which in its simplest manner can come from private equity investors, venture capitalists and angel investors. They can convince investors (through proposals) on options of investing and profiting in local stadiums, courts and complexes and informal sporting events which need not be recognized by official sporting bodies. This all steps should be followed and there is a need to help and counsel to each and every sportsperson in a best possible way.

The mindset of government and society should be changed towards sportsperson because they are pillars of our nation to represent it internationally. Sport in India in general is not considered a viable and good career option and at the maximum is considered as a side discipline/activity by society. Successive governments have run sports institutions by politicians (who have no background in sports) and considered sports-persons not as someone who can bring laurels to the country. Freedom and financial independence from the state are decisive in improving sports in India. The federal government is a facilitator of sports development in the country. However, it has been observed that in recent times cronyism is a constant phenomenon in sports associations/councils. On 4 December 2012, the International Olympic Committee suspended IOA (Indian Olympic Association) on the basis of corruption, government interference, and not following guidelines of the IOC. Several members of the IOA have been charged with crimes. The IOA was formally banned for not following the Olympic Charter in their elections, instead following the Indian government's Sports Code. On 15 May 2013, International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to lift the ban on the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) as Indian representatives from the government and sports bodies reached an agreement with IOC officials. There are a few glaring issues which need attention-
1.      Lack of dignity and respect for sports other than cricket;
2.      Identification and nurturing talent – Talent needs to be picked up right from
school level to have sufficient time in hand to groom them as world class
sports persons.
3.      Political interference – It should be done away with to let sport
institutions work autonomously (preferably headed by a specialist in respective
4.      Financial aid to needy but talented – Such candidates should be helped in
terms of scholarships/fee-waiver to help them continue with their studies and
pursue sports too.
5.      Overhaul of sports infrastructure- Sports infrastructure needs to overhauled
to provide the globally competitive best facilities for training. School level
sports facilities should also be improved.
6.      Adequate respect for other disciplines-Sports other than Cricket should also
be given their due by the media, citizenry and the society at large
7.      Sports should not remain only a governmental activity and private corporate nurturing and funding should be encouraged.

We have laws for almost everything. In the same way we have laws governing sports in India. Sports law in India is governed & regulated by National Sports Policy, Sports law and Welfare Association of India, Sports Authority of India and the Sports Broadcasting law in India.  In India sports is in the Concurrent list of the Seventh Schedule (entry 33) of the Constitution on which both the union and state legislatures are proficient to put together laws. There are 3 States; Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, which have enacted laws on regulating sports activity including registration, regulation and recognition of Sports Associations (Uttar Pradesh has since repealed the Act). National as well as provincial sports bodies, clubs, associations or societies are more often than not, set up under the law of societies. These are autonomous non-profit making private bodies. Additionally, many of these are also established as non-profit associations under the company law jurisdiction in the UK and commonwealth countries including India. The Aim of Sports Law is to regulate, provide educational opportunities and disseminate data and information regarding specific areas of sports. The Government must encourage discussions of legal problems affecting sports and promote the exchange of a variety of perspectives and positions of sports law. Establishing rules of ethics for sports persons and practicing professional of law involved in sports law will support the sports industry. It should also endeavor to produce high quality research in the field of sport and the law; provide up to date information on current sports law issues including a resource of sports law material; provide consultancy to sportsmen and sports bodies concerning sports law issues; promote undergraduate and postgraduate study, research and continuing education in sports law; promote ethical solutions to legal issues in sport and notions of "Fair-Play"; and positively address all issues of discrimination in sport. 

Now, sport is going to be the next big industry in India. In developed countries, sports contribute around 2 to 4 percentage of total employment. It includes a variety of career profiles such as athletes, coaches, trainers, event managers, public relation officers, Coordinator of sport organizations, Marketing Consultant, Program and Facility Manager, Professional Sport Promoter, Sport equipment and product sales, Sport Event Planner and Manager and Sport Sponsorship Specialist. The year 2008 was a landmark in sports development in India with the introduction of a new model in cricket. Sports industry expects a faster growth in shorter time frame. It has the potential to overtake IT and related industries before 2020 in every aspect. But yes, we should think of sports beyond cricket.


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