By Vedant Shinde
The youth of India is the future of Indian Sports. Our country is forecasted to become the youngest country in the world by 2025, with 63% of the population to be youth. The ideology behind writing this blog is to provide awareness among parents whose kids are more inclined towards sports.
If your kid is picking sports over everything else, it is a signal that he/she has a passion for it. Now if you are wondering how sports can be an ideal career for your kid. Hang on to it! By the end of this article, you will have an idea of how their passion for sports can be transformed into a profession.
Youngsters can contribute to sports in numerous factors. However, the two straightforward ones are on and off the field. The on-field contribution is by becoming a professional player or a coach and off-field is the sports management sector.
On-field Contribution in sports
With regards to on-field contribution, grassroots development is the primary focus. It would help an individual player to mature irrespective of the sport. Various established and recognized organizations are set up in India, to produce quality players. In the football sector, ISL and I-League teams have formed their youth academies to develop homegrown players into the elite class. European leagues like La Liga are setting up schools across India.
International teams such as Liverpool, PSG, Barcelona, Boca Juniors, and Arsenal have their academies in India. The initiative is mainly because the world believes that our country has the potential to be the biggest sporting nation. Besides football, NBA has launched NBA Academy India who is energetically and constantly aiming at improving the face of Indian basketball.
Kabaddi which has the highest viewership after cricket has launched KDB juniors where schools from different cities are participating for the championship. Padukone – Dravid Centre for Excellence situated in Bangalore is a masterpiece of its own. It is a multi-sport arena which focuses on the development of Indian athlete. Khelo India is the initiative taken by sports ministry of India to scout young Indian athlete from school level who can later represent our country on the highest level.
Inspire Institute of Sports situated in Vijayanagar is India’s first privately funded high-performance training centre for athletes. The institute provides a full scholarship to athletes scouted from across the country in boxing, wrestling, judo, and swimming.
Off-Field Contribution in Sports
In context to the off the field contribution, an individual can still be part of the industry by getting involved in the management sector. There are several sports management colleges in India who are offering bachelor and master’s degree in sports management. Few well-versed institutes for sports management are Global Institute of Sports Business, International Institute of Sports Management, National Academy of Sports Management.
If you are wondering why awareness was not spread earlier. Why India is still lacking behind the sports? Is our government truly taking the responsibility towards the development of sports?
Right approach towards sports
The problem is we must realize that sports as a sector can contribute to the country’s GDP. The solution is by changing the mindset about sports. It starts right from the society and goes all the way up to the government. Sports is leisure activity in India, more than as a professional career.
We do not blame the reason behind such consideration, the fact that people are unaware of the overall growth of the sports industry. The global market valuation of the sports industry is a whopping USD 400- 600 billion according to KPMG. However, India’s contribution is significantly very less. According to Sanjay Gupta, Managing Director, Star India, stated that our country has the potential to become a $10billion industry in the next 5 to 7 years.
Kids growing up in India are foretold that success is more likely to be achieved in the field of academics. They drop their passion as a sport due to peer pressure and most of them pursue either engineering, medicine, or CA. Some of the exceptional students excel in academics after the hard choice but many of them suffer the consequences because the field they chose was not meant for them. It not just loss for an individual or family, we lose potential future sports representative for our country.
The sports market is vast, and opportunities are unlimited. The various fields include professional player, sports engineering, sports science, sports marketing, sports coaches, sports sponsorship, sports tourism, sports broadcasting, fan development, event and venue management, sports psychology, sports PR.
The individual should focus on its strengths and combine it with passion. If an individual is good in engineering and holds an interest in sports, it must look out for sports engineering field. The case is the same for a person who pursues medicine, he or she can further take sports science or sports medicine. A person who is interested in management field can pursue sports management course. If a person has an analytical mindset, he or she can get involved in Sports Analytics.
Message to parents, the future is in your hand. Give your kid the support they need and see the growth of the individual as well the country.
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