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Haryana, which accounts for only 1.34% of the country’s area has contributed much to bringing laurels for India at international tournaments. This may sound surprising to many, but the robust system created by Haryana has paved way for excellent results in Sports.
Haryana has set a benchmark for Sports in the country. The state has devised a model that has become an inspiration for every other state to follow. The sports model of Haryana helped the state to achieve many milestones in the world of sports.
Other states including Gujarat, had organized a 15-day tour to understand and learn the Haryana model. The central government has taken inspiration from Haryana and decided to construct stadiums in rural areas under the Panchayat Yuva Krida Aur Khel Abhiyan program.
The state of Haryana had some challenges to encounter since the late 80s. The challenges of the state include the need to channel the youth energy meaningfully and manage the skewed sex ratio. They also had to prevent the death of unborn female children and make them acceptable to families.
Haryana used Sports as means to bring all people together. Activities began in the early 1980s when they hired a large number of coaches for various sports and distributed them around the state. Around the beginning of 2000, they began looking at a more targeted approach to sports and began finding talented youngsters at the grassroots level who might be nurtured to be model athletes.
Haryana Sports Model: The Beginning
Firstly, they had to identify which sports to start with. Boxing and wrestling were famous sports in Haryana. Body strength was a natural feature of the gene pool of the Jats, the traditional warriors. As a result, they began training young men and women in boxing and wrestling. These sportsmen fared well at the international level, giving the sports department confidence to begin a full-fledged drive to make Haryana a sports hub.
They focused on grooming children from a young age to make them ready for the big events. Every kid in school is encouraged to participate in at least one sport and to represent India on an international level through a campaign called “Play 4 India.”
The Sports and Physical Aptitude Test (SPAT) is administered in all schools in the state to discover high-potential athletes aged 8 to 14. Around 5000 talented students were identified across the state with an equal number of boys and girls.
The program, which was part of the Haryana government’s “You give us medals and we’ll secure your future” campaign, was aimed at identifying 5,000 prospective international medal winners in the 9-19 age bracket and subsidizing the cost of their education, training, and equipment.
They selected the candidates based on certain parameters: Strength, reaction time, flexibility, agility, and endurance. Based on the performance score of the athletes, they were allocated to a particular sport.
Just like subjects- mathematics, science, and political science, ‘Sports’ also considered a mainstream subject.
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Facilities & Training
These students were provided with top-notch facilities and supported throughout their journey. They were provided with proper training, diet, coaches, and regular checkups. The athletes were provided with psychologists to fine-tune the mental aspect of the game. These were the main reason that gave laurels and medals to the state. On top of that, they were given monetary help if needed. When an athlete is provided with such facilities, he/she has no tension to support the family and can work on his/her game without any distractions.
Throughout the year, various competitions are held right from the State level to local club matches. The athletes get a platform to showcase their skills and get acquainted with the match environment.
The Haryana government helps athletes and their families throughout their sporting journey. Players that win gold in international competitions are rewarded financially as well as with perks such as free travel. The government looks after the athletes even after their sporting careers are over.
They are given job security in the government department. The government reserves seats for performing athletes in the Police department.
Not just the players but also coaches are awarded money. For example, the Panchayat of a village where a Gold medalist in an international event receives Rs 2 lakh, which goes towards the village’s general development. This also implies that villagers have a vested interest in promoting athletes from their community. In this way, the athletes are focused on making improvements in their village creating healthy competition among villages.
The gold medalist in the Olympics will receive Rs 6 crore, the silver medalist Rs 4 crore, and the bronze medalist Rs 2.5 crore.
Haryana Sports Model: Infrastructure
Sports cannot succeed without proper infrastructure. Infrastructure plays a key role in the way athletes are treated before a big world event. So they do not feel different or overwhelmed when they enter the arena.
Nurseries have been established around the state to give athletes with free lodging, sports equipment, food, and training. More than 200 stadiums are built with high-functioning coaching staff. These stadiums are managed cooperatively by district authorities, school administration, and player parents in a real public partnership.
In 2012, the Haryana government built Rajiv Gandhi Sports Complex in Rohtak, Haryana, and is owned by Haryana Urban Development Authority. It has a capacity of 8,000 with international standard facilities.
The focus on rural developments has been the major factor behind the success of the State.
The state has also focused on Research and Development field in Sports. It has established a sports library and center for sports medicine. This helps the students gain insights into the overall anatomy involved with sports. The R&D helps the state improve its players’ health and recovery.
Haryana Sports Model: Future Plans
The Chief Minister of Haryana, Sh. Manohar Lal stated that to keep youths away from drugs, 1,100 sport nurseries will be set up in the state and Haryana will soon emerge as a sports hub of the country with 1,000 coaches and yoga teachers.
According to the Chief Minister, the administration is focusing on education and jobs in addition to sports, thus skill development has been prioritized in the curriculum.
Haryana successfully hosted the Khelo India Youth Games 2021 and the players from every part of India competed for a total of 1,866 medals.
MEDAL WINNERS FROM HARYANA IN THE 2022 COMMONWEALTH GAMES
The results taken by the government are evident by the tally of medals won by Haryana players in the 2022 CWG. A total of 20 medals were won by the players from this North Indian state.
Gold medal winners from Haryana: Nitu Ghanghas (boxing), Amit Panghal (boxing), Bajrang Punia (wrestling), Sakshi Malik (wrestling), Deepak Punia (wrestling), Vinesh Phogat (wrestling), Ravi Dahiya (wrestling), Naveen (wrestling), Sudhir (powerlifting).
Silver medal winners: Anshu Malik (wrestling), Shafali Verma (cricket team), Surender Kumar and Abhishek (both hockey), Sagar Ahlawat (boxing).
Bronze medal winners: Savita Punia, Navneet Kaur, Navjot Kaur, Nisha, Jyoti, Monika, Neha, Sharmila Devi, Udita (team event) (all hockey), Jasmine (boxing), Pooja Gehlot (wrestling), Pooja Sihag (wrestling), Deepak Nehra (wrestling), Sandeep Kumar (athletics), Mohit Grewal (wrestling).
Haryana keeps inspiring by bringing medals due to its robust model and unfailing system. They have ensured that their state remains at the forefront of the sporting revolution in India.