Private sector should partner with the government to encourage sports

NEW DELHI: Sports secretary Ajit M Sharan of the Youth Affairs and Sports Ministry has urged the private sector to participate and partner with the government and the apex chamber to promote sports in the country.


The stakeholders need to actively engage at all levels to improve India’s ranking as a sporting nation.


He said the government is launching a National Talent Search Scheme to scout for sports talent in various schools and institutions across the country. The National Institute of Sports Sciences and Medicine (NISSM), is already in place to support high performance of sports persons and integrate sciences and medicine into the training of elite sports persons and the curriculum of sport coaching in the country.


Sharan was inaugurating ‘India Sports 2014’at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium. He released a knowledge paper ‘Business of Sports – Aiming Higher….. Reaching Further!’ The paper looks at the sports industry and makes predictions for the upcoming decade. The paper provides information about the state of play and trends in the market for sports business in India.


The three-day sports event on the theme ‘Making India as a Sporting Nation’ is organised by FICCI in association with Sports Authority of India. This focus is on strategic dialogues to bring together senior decision makers and renowned Indian and international sports industry players to deliberate on profitable promotion and grassroots development of sports in the country.


Sharan also said that the setting up of Sector Skills Council in Sports is a big step towards making India a sporting nation in future. The council will devise ways to reduce skills gap and shortage improve productivity, hone the skills of the sector work force and improve learning.


He said sports in India has witnessed stagnation in the last few decades. The challenges in the sector are numerous but some of which call for immediate attention such as development of a structured system at the grass root level to engage young boys and girls in the age group of 8-10 years in various sports; identifying and nurturing young talent based on their performance, talent and calibre; providing professional training, sporting equipment and wholesome nourishment to the identified sports persons; organizing regular competitions of international standard at the domestic level to measure the performance of local sports persons; setting up sports science and sports medicine centres to support the sports fraternity and providing alternative viable vocational career options to players to ensure their livelihood.


FICCI Sports Committee chairman and Tata Metaliks MD Sanjiv Paul said with the support of MYAS, FICCI has finally received the approval for setting up Sector Skills Council in Sports, Physical Education, Fitness and Leisure sector. According to a latest study, this sector will require more than 4.3 million support personnel in various roles in sports in the coming 10 years.


Paul thanked the Ministry for guiding FICCI on the issue of ‘demand of Industry Status to Sports Sector’. After FICCI’s representation on industry status to sports, there was a committee setup under the chairmanship of Director General, Sports Authority of India, where FICCI prepared a report on ‘granting infrastructure status to Sports Sector’.


Deloitte LLP UK sports business group consultant Richard battle,said that there were numerous ways to promote sports. One of the most commercially successful models in India has been the Indian Premier League in cricket, which has phenomenally thrived. India now faces the challenge of replicating this model for other sports.


Sahara India Pariwa publich affairs and communication VP Abhijit Sarka said that India has the talent to be amongst the top sporting countries in the world. It is also recognized that a lot more needs to be done, especially in the development of sports at the grassroots level where states have an important role to play if India has to reap the advantage of the positive momentum and claim its rightful place amongst the top sporting countries. The private sector should come forward and participate more proactively.


FICCI Sports Committee co-chairman and Coca-Cola India public affair and corporate communication head Deepak Jolly said that there was both hope and optimism to make India a sporting nation. There is a long way to go but efforts are being made and India is moving in the right direction to achieve its goal. He added that India has done well in games and sports such as chess, which are primarily mind games. Sports requiring physical strength and stamina still need to be encouraged adequately for India to perform well at the international level.


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