India is in the forefront in very sporting activities despite having such a huge raw pool of talent which if groomed correctly can catapult the country in the international arena as one of the top sporting nations. Sports has been my first and foremost passion from as far as I can remember. An active participant of every single sporting activity in school and my local clubs my entire life revolved around sports from my childhood. he adrenaline rush that comes with playing sports is something that I can’t put into words
Due to financial pressure I could not initially take up sports as a career option but after 6 years of working in the corporate world I have now realised that my life still revolves around sports and granted the opportunity I would want to live my life in the sports world.
Observing the growing importance of managing sports teams and activities professionally, and seeing the emergence of specialised courses, I would like to work towards changing and growing sports from the grass roots level in my country, India.
The prevalence of politics, red tapism and lack of promotion of talented athletes has more or less depleted and killed the motivation of such athletes in our country. Having been a part of the entire system myself and despite having being selected in the training camp for the state basketball team and having being told by my coach that I had tremendous potential but there was no motivation to pursue this as a career option as it offered absolutely no stability.
Every year I see extremely talented athletes leaving their passions behind and moving onto make their career in other fields. Throughout the country a wide variety of sports are played. India is home to several traditional sports which originated in the country and continue to remain fairly popular. These include kabbadi, kho kho, wrestling and archery. The British rule brought many popular sports in India including football, rugby union, cricket, golf, tennis, squash, hockey, boxing, nooker and billiards. The country which has produced the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Saina Nehwal, Sania Mirza, P. T. Usha among thousands of other great athletes has not even scratched the surface. The talent is there for all to see but to a dysfunctional and corrupted system it fails to promote the same to excel in the international arena. To put in perspective these problems are not only faced in India but in many more countries.
Some of the major issues which are considered to be the biggest problems facing a country can be discussed under the following points Management: – The problems in management are the single most destructive force which ensures that the facilities being provided for promoting raw talents never reach. In most developing countries especially in India the key posts in management are coveted posts and are held by politicians or their close associated.
The result of this is that the leaders of the sports management in these countries are mostly people who are a) without any experience whatsoever in sports, b) are required to work only till such time that their elected political party is in power so they build no plans which can be executed over a five year plan, c) are mostly politicians who are more interested in gaining political mileage out of the entire deal and most importantly d) Are mostly the biggest perpetrators when it comes to corruption ensuring funds actually meant for the athletes are diverted to their own pockets by using different channels.
For instance the Commonwealth Games 2010 which was hosted by Delhi, India came under a lot of scrutiny for the corrupt means used by the organizers who pocketed funds that had been generated for the athletes. It was a disgrace for the entire nation that an event of such magnitude was no more than a mere money making scheme for a few individuals. In fact, the Head of the Commonwealth games in India Suresh Kalmadi has also been arrested for the same.
The prevalence of such a system ensure there is no long term plan for developing the system from a grass root level and ensuring the plan is constantly evolving and growing in a positive direction rather than being changed at the whims and fancies of a politician. Involvement of trained sports managers can change the entire ball game and ensure a much more planned and structural growth for athletes from the grass root level. Most other problems derive their origin from that of management but are long standing problems with ramifications of their own.
Some of the more significant problems which have strong ramifications of their own are: – Grass Roots: The biggest drawback for a lot of sporting activities is a lack of a planned and sustainable program to develop athletes at the grassroots’ level. There is an urgent need to involve professional sports managers who understand the need for the same and are put in charge of the systems which govern the same. Promoting and training promising athletes will lead to emergence of new stars that would have previously gone undiscovered.
Developmental: With sports emerging as a frontrunner in drawing spectators across the world the need today in every country is to promote a variety of sports by professional methods, by packaging and presenting the USP of each sport to draw in a larger fan base. Although hockey is the national sport of the country, despite the country having such a vast raw pool of talent in different sporting genres, mainly cricket holds the limelight across the world. The IPL (Indian Premiere League) overshadows most of the other sporting events due to its glamour quotient as well as the huge sum of money involved.
The lack of attention given to other sports in India besides cricket is very disheartening for young sportsmen . Packaged and managed to ensure maximum response will ensure many more varieties of sports draw in the same amount of attention and revive athletes’ interests in following the same as a career option. Disciplinary: Due to a weak management system coaches and managers use banned substances to train their wards. Young athletes not supervised correctly are most vulnerable to the same.
Discipline during growth is an extremely important aspect of a super athlete and forms the backbone during his growing stages and becomes even more important once the athlete achieves milestones. Economics of scale has become a focal point of discussion in sports today. Inequality in finances’ due to sponsorships and also government preferences has proved detrimental to non cash rich sports in all countries. Quality training and excellent facilities in some sports has led them to create a huge imbalance in most countries.
Not only restricted to a single country but due to the emergence of imbalance among different leagues across various countries has led to a decline in the fan base where finances are not adequate and may eventually lead to a demise of the sport in that particular In conclusion it may be said that a strong management system ensures strong development of policies which enable a positive and sustainable growth system. Sports are an important segment of our country and also it is a prestige issue.
In today’s world cricket assumes primary importance in the minds of the audience and the government has also by no means played a small part in ensuring the same. As a result other sports have suffered tremendously in the country My experience of sports in the state and national arena was restricted to Basketball wherein I had played for the university team and was selected for the state selection camp. Observing the rampant politics and prevalence of corruption I was highly demotivated. Moving on to a high paying job seemed to be the only motivation for me to leave sports and I followed that for 6 years, but my passion for sports never died.
I have been strongly associated with basketball as a coach for my higher secondary school, as a player for my club and have also promoted basketball in my company wherein I have formed a team of my peers and have participated and won a number of tournaments. My main motivation for applying for the sports management course is a) to develop a strong understanding of managing sports organisations and athletes b) Understand and work with professional international organisations c) To learn modern technology and its applications in sports today ) To apply all my acquired knowledge in sports today in India e) Develop by working closely with the athletes a system of generating a higher number of quality athletes in a variety of fields Initially I would wish to work with national Women’s sporting teams wherein there would be a requirement for me while at the same time help my state Woman’s basketball association with whom I have been closely associated for the last 15 years develop a program to develop young athletes and initially work towards promoting the sport in the national stage and eventually the international stage.
My eventual goal would be to bring women’s sports as close to par to men’s sports to guarantee young athletes a promising career in sports and ensure no raw talent gets dissuaded from following sports as a career as I did along with my entire team members. In terms of finance I would have sufficient amount to support myself in terms of accommodation and other living costs but would require financial support from the college by means of a scholarship or assistantship for the education fees.
As in India the salaries are not very high in terms of international standards what I have saved would cover as said before the living costs but for the program fees I would need some sort of help in the form of a scholarship. I have spent all my life involved in sports in some way or the other and despite having a natural talent and passion for the same have not been able to follow it as a career option in my life.
Today the face of sports especially in India is changing and I am right now in a stage in my career where with all the experience gained in the corporate world coupled with my passion for sports I can contribute in this field. For this I need to be further exposed to the knowledge and experience which your institute offers. I dream to make a change in the industry in my country and this is the main motive behind me applying for the degree which has already enabled many individuals to achieve their goals.