World of India!: Get Sporty : Wannna play dice with your life? Become a sportsman in India! e

World of India!

Fire at will.

Get Sporty : Wannna play dice with your life? Become a sportsman in India!

India is experiencing a string of successes in sports other than cricket at the world stage, in the recent past. Abhinav Bindra won gold at the World shooting championship, Saina Nehwal reached the finals of the Jr. World badminton championship, Jeev Milkha Singh won the Volvo Masters Golf tourney in Shanghai and there are a few more one can recount. But these successes are not a result of some state controlled program to exhibit our sporting prowess and notch some national prestige brownie points, unlike China. In India, sporting success can be safely attributed to individual brilliance and more importantly a lifetime of sacrifices, blood,sweat, toil and tears.

Its quite well known that we as a country have abysmal sports infrastructure, including that of cricket. There are very few good grounds/stadia, coaches and most people can't afford the equipment needed to play today's modern sports. Those who can prefer to (or their children) play sports only at an amateur level, since making decent money out of sports, unless you reach the top, is very very difficult in India. Couple this with the cut throat competition to get in a decent educational course, and you can understand why being serious about sports and thinking of it as a career is a very dicey game, indeed. My own sister, went to win in Table Tennis at the National University level, but left the game after that, to pursue her medical career. There was no way she could balance both, beyond a point.

No wonder India has not produced an Individual Olympic medalist since 1952, except for Leander Paes.

So when a few people battle all odds to ensure their child gets all the facilities needed to excel in sports, one can't but help applaud their courage. When I was young, my father had a sub-ordinate, who actually got himself a transfer into a major town in Maharashtra, so that he could give his son access to the best sporting and coaching facilities, in Table Tennis. His wife stayed back in another town, to take care of the other kids, who couldn't be relocated. Husband and wife made this sacrifice, for the sake of their son's sporting career. Did they not have doubts whether they will succeed in making a champion at the end of it all? They must have, but their resolve was must have conquered these fears.

Many of India's champions, in sports other than cricket, like Saina Nehwal, Sania Mirza, V.Anand, Jyoti Randhawa, Jeev Milkha Singh, are born out of sacrifices and life uncertainties, such as these. They are even more praise worthy, cause unlike cricket, which promises better than average compensation even if you don't reach the very top, pursuing these other games is nothing less than playing Russian roulette with your life.

And what if you succeed at the highest level? Even then a sporting career is possibly the most hazardous of jobs you can have. Yes, you make big money- but remember your shelf life at that level can be anywhere from 5-10 years. Most sportpersons cannot be effective beyond 30. The threat of an injury cutting short your career is omnipresent. I have always felt that critics who attack big money in sports (in India cricketers are often a target for the amount of money they make) can never understand, for what kind of risks these people are being paid for. But what can you expect from a hack who probably played safe, did his B.A or Mass Communication course and played sports at an amateur level, but doses of vitriol tinged with envy?

But many a sacrifice ends in tears rather than a smile. A few months back, I got to know, through some common acquaintances, that the boy I knew, had indeed won a few majors at the State level and also played at the national level, but never quite got beyond that. I wonder what career choice he made once he knew he had little chance of making it. I wonder if he is ruing his life choice and whether his father blames himself for that decision.

Oh well, Life is a bitch.

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November 15, 2006 1:49 PM

Interesting post- It all also depends on the particular sport you choose and society's foolish obsession to judge people by degrees and qualifications which makes it impossible for the guy to concentrate on his sports career when young.
It's bad from and individual's perspective as well. His emotional health- Make your passion your profession.

Its hightime such midsets changed    

November 15, 2006 11:07 PM


aGREE totally.    

December 05, 2006 10:46 PM

good site    

December 05, 2006 10:47 PM

good site    

December 05, 2006 10:48 PM

good site    

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