Despite the constant talk about grassroots in India’s sports culture, the majority of the efforts are focused only at the top.
Even though India won its record medal tally in an Olympic event- Tokyo Olympics 2021, Indian athletes had difficulty bringing home medals. In various forums, people began asking why a country with over a billion individuals cannot win medals, which has become a perennial question.
But now Indian sports will experience a healing effect as a result of the Tokyo Olympics. Like never before, Indians were seen more and more invested in supporting their athletes in the Tokyo Olympics, which helped India bag a record total of 7 medals in Japan.
To see that hundreds of thousands of people across the country are participating is heartening. A number of young people will be encouraged to take part in Olympic sports as a result. But for our athletes to bloom, the government and citizens need to encourage and invest in our infrastructure and build a robust grassroots system.
The government is now expected to allocate more funds and support towards the training and counselling of our athletes. The support and encouragement given to cricket in India needs to be given to others sports as well.
The requirement of our athletes like better structure and funding should be available with the government and nations full support, only then will India will become a top country in the world of sports.
From the grassroots levels parents and teachers should find a balance between studies and sports for the children, and further encourage it if the child is interested in a sport, talented, or both.
The government should also take sports initiatives for children of young age, which would help recognise exceptional talent and then support them and develop them into becoming world-class athletes.
Historically, countries that spend more on sports have done well at the Olympics. And now it’s time for a nation like India to do the same for its athletes with utmost sincerity.