HomeSports 2.0KreedOn Case StudyHow can sports transform Uttarakhand’s economy ? – A Detailed Case Analysis
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How can sports transform Uttarakhand’s economy ? – A Detailed Case Analysis

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Sports have garnered a lot of attention and importance in recent years in various states of India. Uttarakhand, a state situated in northern India, has started considering sports and adventure-based sports as important elements. The mutual dependence on sports and tourism in Uttarakhand is quite evident. Apart from being an exotic destination for adventure sports, Uttarakhand is also famous for a few other conventional sports. Uttarakhand has produced many renowned sportspersons who have excelled nationally and internationally. Sportspersons like Manish Singh Rawat, Nitendra Singh Rawat, Chandraprabha Aitwal, and Sneh Rana, have made India proud!

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The sports department of Uttarakhand has started focusing on creating a healthy environment for the sportspersons. The department has come up with proper infrastructure, training camps, upgradation and strengthening of the departments in the districts, and also assisting in providing financial aid to the athletes.

Quick look at the Uttrakhand’s Sports Budget

Image Source: Hindustan

The Budget for the state of Uttarakhand for the financial year 2021-22 allocated 8% of the total amount for the joint sector of Education, Sports, Arts, and Culture. The estimated amount was Rs. 9,385 crores. However, the actual amount turned out to be Rs. 8,411 crores, which is a decrease of 10%.
The Budget for the financial year 2022-23 has allocated 10,896 crores for the joint sector of Education, Sports, Arts, and Culture, which is a 20% change from the previous year’s Budget.

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Sector 2020-21 Actuals 2021-22 Budgeted 2021-22 Revised 2022-23 Budgeted % change from RE 2021-22 to BE 2022-23
Education, Sports, Arts, and Culture 8,411 9,744 9,087 10,896 20%

Source:PRS Legislative Research

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Prominent Sports in Uttarakhand

There are several sports cherished by the state and some even have historic connections. Uttarakhand is a hub of adventure sports apart from the prominent conventional sports practiced in the state. Explore the prominent sports of the state.


The story of football and Dehradun dates back to the 18th century when the British troops were stationed in India. They played and fancied the sport. To date, the passion is evident among the people with more than a dozen clubs and institutes dedicated to football. A few include Ajabpur Young Star, Akranta Club, Doon Star Club, Garhwal Sporting club, Maharana Pratap Sports College, Doon Valley Boys Club, Uttarakhand Police, Vijay Cantt. Sporting Club, etc.


Coming to another conventional sport, the Uttarakhand State Badminton Association is an organization affiliated with the Badminton Association of India. The fundamental objective is to promote badminton amongst the children in Uttarakhand. Many players have excelled at global and national events. 


Apart from conventional hockey, Ice hockey has been gaining immense importance and popularity in Uttarakhand. The artificial ice rink in Dehradun, is a significant venue for many matches, bringing in teams, both nationally and internationally. The Ice Hockey Association of Uttarakhand focuses on training and motivating aspirants to pursue the sport


Cricket is fancied in Uttarakhand just like the entire country. The Uttarakhand Cricket Association takes care of all the activities associated with cricket. Numerous sports academies like the National School of Cricket, Abhimanyu Cricket Academy, Maharana Pratap Sports College, etc. nurture, train and produce maestros in this field. A few known and budding cricketers who have created their names include Manish Pandey, Pawan Negi, Puneet Bisht, and Robin Bisht, and great women cricketers including, Ekta Bisht and Hemlata Kala.


The Golf courses of Uttarakhand nested in the mountains’ natural and picturesque beauty have been a hot spot for golfing enthusiasts. The Raj Bhawan at Nainital has a Golf Course spanning 45 acres. The Golf Course, built in 1936, is one of the vintage golf courses in India and is affiliated with the Indian Golf Union (IGU). Ranikhet in Uttarakhand is also famous as a golfing destination. It flaunts a 9- hole golf course that came into existence as early as 1920. 


Uttarakhand has many shooting clubs and it is evident enough to show the multitudes of aspiring individuals interested in this sport. Academies like Maharana Pratap Sports Academy, Jaspal Rana Institute, Bull’s eye shooting academy, Kasiga School, and Doon Institute of Shooting and Sports have high-standard shooting ranges. 

Some of the Adventure Sports popular in Uttarakhand

Image Source: experienceduniya
  • Mountaineering
  • White Water Rafting
  • Kayaking and Canoeing
  • Rock Climbing
  • Skiing
  • Paragliding

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Sports Tourism in Uttrakhand

The state’s rugged terrain, including the Himalayan mountain range, provides the perfect setting for a variety of adventure sports such as trekking, rock climbing, paragliding, and skiing.

One of the most popular sports in Uttarakhand is trekking. Many tourists visit the state to explore the famous trekking routes in the Himalayas. The state’s most famous trek, the Char Dham Yatra, attracts thousands of trekkers each year. Additionally, the state’s rock climbing scene is also growing in popularity. Many tourists visit to climb the peaks in the Kumaon and Garhwal regions.

In recent years, the state has also seen a rise in the number of tourists visiting for skiing and snowboarding. The state’s Auli region, located in the Garhwal Himalayas, has become a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts. The region’s ski slopes are open from December to March. The state has also been working to improve the infrastructure and facilities in the region to attract more tourists

The state government has also been promoting paragliding in Uttarakhand. Many tourists visit to experience the thrill of flying over the state’s picturesque landscapes. The state’s Kedarnath region is a popular spot for paragliding, with many operators offering tandem flights for tourists.

According to data from the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board, the state received over 20 million tourists in 2021, with a significant portion of them being sports enthusiasts.

How the development of sports can boost Uttharakhand’s economy and make it more sustainable?

Sports have become a major source to boost the economy. The growth of sports can significantly help in economic growth as well. It provides employment opportunities, boosts tourism, attracts investments, and leads to the overall development of the region. Various adventure sports attract a range of tourists resulting in revenue generation for hotels, restaurants, and other businesses.

Adventure sports have gained popularity over the years. With the instilled fascination of traveling to mountains/hill stations and experiencing adventure sports among the people, the hilly areas are benefitting well. The state government of Uttarakhand, in this aspect, has planned to develop a cluster of golf courses to encourage tourism in the state.

Besides the individual development of people, sports can also play a significant role in communal development, which fosters economic growth. Providing access to sports facilities and training programs to underprivileged communities and promoting social inclusion. The increased revenue, exposure, and job opportunities that sports provide result in community development.

Investing in sports talent development programs can help to uncover and nurture local sports talent. This can lead to the creation of sports-related jobs and the development of sports-based industries such as coaching, sports marketing, and sports management.

Sports can provide opportunities for education and skill development through sports camps and training programs that provide education and job training alongside sports instruction. 

Hosting national and international sports events in Uttarakhand can bring significant revenue for the state through ticket sales, sponsorships, and tourism. Uttarakhand’s location in the Himalayas can be beneficial for the development of sports-based industries such as outdoor equipment manufacturing, adventure tourism, and sports training centers.  

Important Steps to be taken

  • Building state-of-the-art sports facilities and infrastructure to support the development of sports talent in the state and providing financial assistance and scholarships to young athletes to help them pursue their sports careers. The construction and maintenance of sports facilities can create jobs and stimulate economic growth.
  • Organizing sports events and competitions to provide platforms for athletes to showcase their skills and talent.
  • Encouraging private sector investment in sports through policies and incentives.
  • Partnering with sports organizations and clubs to promote sports in the state and develop local talent. Promoting sustainable practices within sports organizations and events, such as reducing waste and using renewable energy, can serve as a model for sustainable behavior and raise awareness about environmental issues. The partnership of Adidas with Parley for the Oceans is an example.
  • Collaborating with sports governing bodies to improve the standard of sports in the state.
  • Promoting social inclusion in the state through sport. It is an effective way to bring people from different backgrounds and communities together. Sports being a universal language can break down barriers and foster understanding and respect among people from different backgrounds. By providing opportunities for people from disadvantaged communities to participate in sports, we can help to build their self-esteem, confidence, and social skills. It can also lead to the development of new sports talents, who otherwise would have not had the opportunity. 
  • The state can use sports as a medium to showcase its rich cultural heritage and promote the traditional sports and games of the region, this will give a boost to local culture and tradition.

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The Initiative by the State Government: Future of Sports in Uttarakhand

Image Source: Garhwal Post

In 2021, a cabinet meeting was chaired by the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Pushkar Singh Dhami. In the cabinet meeting, the draft of the New Sports Policy 2021 was approved. As per the policy, the government will now set up centers of excellence for high-priority sports in different parts of the state.

  • With the implementation of the sports policy, athletes will have various opportunities to showcase their talent at various levels.
  • Every year, 2600 players across the state will provide a scholarship of Rs 2,000 per month.
  • Meanwhile, physical and Sports Aptitude Tests (SAT) will be implemented to identify the talents from the age of eight.
  • The state government will select 300 children, 150 boys and 150 girls, in every district in the age group between 8 to 14 years, and these children will be given a scholarship of Rs 1,500 per month. Similarly, 200 children in the age group between 14 to 23 years will be provided a scholarship of Rs 2,000 per month in each district.
  • Under the prestigious ‘Uttarakhand Sports Policy 2021’, children and youth affected by electronic culture will be motivated to indulge in sports.
  • The Sports Policy includes upgradation of sportspersons, locating and nurturing sports talent, increasing interest of people in sports, arrangement of nutritious diet along with normal diet, employment opportunities for sportspersons and, complete provision has been made to provide the facilities.
  • Under this policy, the state government of Uttarakhand has also planned to provide government jobs to medal winners in all categories of national and international sporting events.

CM Pushkar Singh Dhami also launched the “Mukhyamantri Udyog Khiladi Unnayan Yojana”. Under this scheme, 3900 budding sportspersons will be provided scholarships every year. This includes 1950 boys and 1950 girls from ages 14 to 23 years.

Comparison with Other States 

Uttarakhand’s sports system is comparatively less developed. Uttarakhand started gearing up in sports in the year 2021. Meanwhile, other Indian states like Odisha, Haryana, Punjab, etc. are years ahead. Haryana, Punjab, and Kerala have a strong tradition in sports and have invested heavily in sports infrastructure and talent development programs. These states have produced several Olympic medalists and top-tier athletes in sports like wrestling, boxing, weightlifting, etc.

Moreover, states like Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have also developed standard sports systems and have several sports facilities, including stadiums and training centers. They also have a rich history of producing sporting talents and hosting national and international sports events.

Odisha in Sports

Odisha initiated development in sports in 2013 when the state decided to buy a team in the Indian Hockey League and named it Kalinga Lancers. Later, Odisha came up with the Odisha Sports Model and signed an MOU with leading corporate houses in India to introduce High-Performance Centres (HPC). The state has also allocated an estimated budget of Rs. 24,994 crores for the financial year 2022-23 in the joint sector of Education, Sports, Arts, and Culture.

Haryana in Sports

Haryana began its development around the year 2000. The government started programs like “Play 4 India”, to encourage sports across the state. The Sports and Physical Aptitude Test (SPAT) by the Haryana government is administered in all schools in the state to discover potential athletes between 8 to 14 years. Nurseries have been established across the state to provide free lodging, sports equipment, food, and training to the athletes. Over 200 stadiums have been built with high-functioning coaching staff. Haryana government has also allocated an estimated budget of Rs. 19,711 crores for the financial year 2022-23 in the joint sector of Education, Sports, Arts, and Culture.

Major Sporting Events of Uttarakhand: What’s happening around Sports in the state?

Khel Mahakhumb

Khel Mahakumbh is a sports event organized annually in Uttarakhand. The event is organized by the Uttarakhand State Sports and Youth Welfare Department and aims to promote sports and physical fitness among the youth of the state. One of the main objectives of Khel Mahakumbh is to promote the importance of physical fitness and sports among the youth of the state. The event aims to inspire young people to take up sports and lead an active lifestyle. Khel Mahakumbh also provides an opportunity for local businesses to showcase their products and services. Many local vendors and suppliers set up stalls at the event, providing visitors with a wide range of products and services.

National winter games 

The National Winter Games bring in thousands of tourists and athletes from all over the country. The games are held at various venues across the state, with the main events taking place at the skiing and snowboarding venues in Auli, Dayara Bugyal, and Mundali. The National Winter Games also feature a wide range of cultural and entertainment events. These events include music and dance performances, cultural exhibitions, and food festivals. These events provide a great opportunity for visitors to experience the rich culture and traditions of Uttarakhand, as well as to enjoy some delicious local food and drink. It is also a great opportunity to promote sustainable tourism in the state.

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Uttarakhand para motor aero sports

Para Motor Aero Sports, also known as powered paragliding or paramotoring, is a type of ultralight aircraft powered by a motor and propeller. It is a new sport in Uttarakhand but has quickly become a favorite among adventure enthusiasts. The sport allows participants to fly above. It gives them a bird’s eye view of the majestic mountains, lush green forests, and sparkling rivers.

A major event organized by the association is the Uttarakhand Para Motor Aero Sports Festival. It is held annually in different locations across the state. The festival attracts participants and spectators from across the country. It is a great platform for para motor aero sports enthusiasts to showcase their skills.

Para motor aero sports also help in promoting eco-tourism and generating employment opportunities for local people. It also helps in conserving the environment as it is a non-polluting and non-invasive sport. With Uttarakhand Para Motor Aero Sports Association’s support, the sport will continue to grow and evolve, providing a thrilling and unique experience for adventure enthusiasts.

Auli: From a ski town in Uttarakhand to a Global Winter Sports Destination

The Indian government has recently announced plans to develop Auli as a premier winter sports destination to attract tourists worldwide. The plans include the construction of a state-of-the-art ski village, which will feature modern amenities such as ski lifts, snowmaking machines, and a ski school.

The town is already home to the Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering, which offers training and certification in skiing and other winter sports.

The development of Auli as a winter sports destination is also expected to have a positive impact on the local economy, creating jobs and boosting tourism in the region. The government’s plans for the town align with the growing trend of sustainable tourism in India. It will help in preserving the natural beauty and promote it as a responsible tourist destination.

World-Class Kayaking-Canoeing Academy in Tehri 

The government of Uttarakhand announced plans to set up a world-class kayaking and canoeing academy in Tehri. The academy will be the first of its kind in India. It is being set up to promote the sport of kayaking and canoeing in the region and make it a popular tourist destination.

The government of Uttarakhand believes that the academy will not only promote the sport of kayaking and canoeing but also help in the development of the region by creating jobs and boosting tourism. The academy is expected to attract visitors across the world, promoting the region as a destination for adventure and water sports.

The establishment of the world-class kayaking and canoeing academy in Tehri is a step in the right direction for the government of Uttarakhand. It is in line with the growing trend of sustainable tourism in India. The government’s efforts to promote the sport of kayaking and canoeing and to make it accessible to all will promote the sport and preserve the region.

A Different Approach

In the rural areas of the Himalayan foothills, Tanjun is using table tennis to raise awareness about climate change and sustainable development. The ‘Table Tennis for early-life socio-ecological responsibility’ project is being implemented by Tanjun Associate LLP. Tanjun Associate LLP is a social enterprise based in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand in north India. It is using sports to raise awareness about climate change and sustainable development. The project, supported by the International Table Tennis Foundation’s Dream Building Fund, is aimed at addressing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Goal 13: Climate Action, by focusing on carbon sequestration and waste management through community-level programs.

The project is using table tennis as a tool to connect with communities and to encourage participation in activities that promote sustainable development and address the impact of climate change. It is also aimed at addressing the problems faced by marginal farmers in the region, who are vulnerable to climate-related disasters and man-animal conflict. It is done by introducing sustainable livelihood options such as bamboo plantation and vertical and rooftop farming. The project also focuses on creating awareness among students about green jobs. The Green jobs are one of the largest emerging sectors in India.

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