The 225 member Indian Contingent that consists of women athletes as well will not sport the traditional Indian attire of sari at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The Indian Olympic Association has decided to revamp the dress code that will be similar for the men and women contingent.
Indian Women Athletes to have a new dress code for the opening ceremony
Commonwealth Games (CWG) is a platform where Indian athletes have performed far better and brightly than they have at any other global multi-sport event. A strong contingent of Indian athletes goes to the games with the hope of winning medals and many of them do come back wearing them around their necks.
An increased number of 225 Indian athletes are again heading to Gold Coast, Australia, to participate in CWG, which is slated to be held from April 4 to April 15.
As always the major attractions of the CWG is the opening and closing ceremony. In the opening ceremony, athletes from various commonwealth nations are paraded and introduced at the stadium. Most of the countries prefer and are seen with their contingent flaunting themselves in their traditional attire. The case has not been any different for India as our women athletes have been donning the traditional sari and blazer.
However things are about to change.
What’s the new dress code for Indian women athletes?
According to a news report published in Indian Express report, Indian women athletes will sport a new look at the opening ceremony of the XXI CWG. Instead of their usual traditional sari and blazer, the women athletes will wear blazers and trousers. The news report further states that the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has decided that the entire Indian contingent, both men and women, will wear navy blue blazers and trousers.
“It is a matter of comfort,” said IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta.
“We received feedback that wearing a saree for such a long time isn’t convenient for the athletes. Opening ceremonies usually carry on for four-five hours. Also, they need help to wear it, which complicates things for them. So we have decided that men and women will wear similar clothes for the ceremony.”
There has been a varied reaction by the women athletes who have welcomed the decision, but they have asked for it to be left more as a choice rather than a compulsion.
Women Athletes Opine
Olympian shooter Heena Sidhu, said: “Blazers and trousers are definitely more convenient and will save a lot of time, but, at the same time, one may look like a man. Why not blazers and skirts? It’s more feminine.”
“I’ve worn a sari only at the 2010 CWG and 2010 Asian Games… I had to learn how to drape it from an aunt, and I still couldn’t tie it too well. I had to ask others for help. Some athletes are just not used to wearing a saree,” the shooter added.
Unlike Heena Sidhu, shuttler Jwala Gutta said she ‘love saris’ and would like to wear them.
“I love saris. I always found saris very beautiful and elegant. There are many who are uncomfortable and find it difficult to wear saris. I feel for them. But if given a choice, I’d still prefer a saree. It’s a personal choice,” said the Commonwealth medallist.
“We should be given a choice. There are those who like to wear trousers and those who like to wear saris. We should get the top athletes together — 10 people who they think are sensible and have represented the country for a long time. There’s no harm in taking suggestions,” the shuttler added.
India’s performance at the last Commonwealth games
The 2018 XXI Commonwealth Games will be held in Gold Coast, Australia. Before that New Delhi had hosted the Commonwealth Games 2010, where India finished second on the medals table and recorded their best tally with 38 gold and 101 medals in total. However, the 2014 Glasgow Games was a lacklustre follow up to Delhi. The Indian contingent managed just 15 Gold and was pushed to the fifth spot on the medals table with 64 medals in the kitty.