Stakeholders highlight need for sports education

MUMBAI: The Khelo India programme has been introduced to revive the sports culture in India by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The structure starts at the grass-roots level by building a strong framework for all sports played in our country and establishing India as a great sporting nation.

It is no secret that the creative sector is the biggest investor in sports in India. Therefore, the question arises as to what policy framework should be adopted to turn India into an epicentre for investments in sports activities and content.

In a sports-related session titled ‘Khelo India: India’s Sporting Transformation’ at the FICCI Frames 2018, panellists spoke about how India has improved its infrastructural facilities in the area of sports through annual properties like IPL where there are several work opportunities available.

Transstadia founder and MD Udit Sheth said, “Sports infrastructure is a very broad term, we should really talk about how we use them for the benefit of the people. We need to educate kids that sports and education cannot be two different things; together they make people smarter.” International Institute of Sports founder and director and former cricketer Nilesh Kulkarni added that decision making about a career in sports becomes easier if there is proper education available about the different job options present in sports.

Go play Sports LLP consultant Mayank Pande spoke of ways to encourage sports. He said, “If you look at India, 41 per cent of the total population is under the age of 20. To building a seamless structure of sports at the grassroots level, you need to build community-based programmes, a level above that comes the state infrastructure where comes the national circuit and above that, you need to build the iconic platforms that help in pulling the eyeballs. Vertical integration of these three platforms will help in building awareness.”

LawNK managing partner Nandan Kamath said that the IPL has added to the existing cricket fever of the country and ended up filling the pockets of cricketers and packing stadiums to the brim. “It also started building a significant amount of interest in private stakeholders and now franchises came into play through IPL in India.”

A lot of hopes rest on the introduction of the Khelo India programme. With the right structure put in place for the programme, the much-elusive sporting glory may finally be within the country’s grasp.  

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