Sports in India Still has a Long way to go

National Sports

“The importance of a public-private ownership pattern is necessary to further boost the sports industry in India”, say experts.

The talk at the inaugural session of Pillai Group’s Executive Sports Management course brought out many issues in sports that are yet to be addressed.  In association with the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and The International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES), Pillai group of Institutes has launched South Asia’s first Sports Management Program.

Charu Sharma, Sports commentator and Founder of Pro Kabbadi League, says at the session, “Sports, as an industry, is heavily dependent on real estate. The basic problem in sports infrastructure is the lack of stadiums and proper training grounds/tracks. All of these springs from the lack of land dedicated to the development of sports.”

Every school, private and state-run has mandated a part of the school fees, ranging from Rs. 150-700, as a sports fund. “The elements are all there but it hasn’t been tapped yet”, says Ashwini Nachappa, Arjuna Awardee and Founder of Karaumbiah’s Academy for Learning and Sports, Coorg.

She adds, “Every school must make it mandatory to have physical education as a subject and it should be included in every department in colleges and universities.”

Jitendra Shetty, Deputy Director, Dept. of Youth Empowerment and Sports, Karnataka, points out the importance of manufacturing sports good in India under the government’s Make in India initiative. He says, “The most important thing in sports is the access to sports infrastructure, which India lacks.”

He says,” If the product is made in India and it gets certification and clearance from the international body, it would reduce the current good expenditure by almost 50 percent, and also has potential export value. Also, the sports manufacturing industry will generate a lot of employment in the country.”