It is rightly said that the battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton. The hero of the battle was a student of this famous school where he learnt and imbibed all the qualities required to win a battle as a player and sportsman.
India, with half the population of the world, has not been doing well on this front on the national and international levels. It is very sad that no proper attention is being given to games and sports in schools and colleges. There are no proper facilities for these activities. Year after year, Indian teams have shown dismal performance in the international sports events. Unfortunately, in India games are held as a source of mere entertainment. They are not taken seriously, nothing has been done to promote them to the desired standards, it’s really humiliating that our teams should return empty- handed without even a few gold or silver medals. Games and sports can play a crucial role in building our image in the world.
Of late, some worthwhile measures have been taken tar promote games and sports on regional and national levels. The sports Authority of India have begun the Motional Sports Talent Contest for spotting and nurturing sports talent in the country. It is a right step in the right direction. The gifted boys and girls should be caught young for this purpose. Creation of sports awareness among young boys and girls on school level, in their formative years, will go a long way to realize the objective of a “Sound mind in a sound body “.
Riot only government agencies but also corporate bodies and business houses should come forward to promote games and sports in a big, and on permanent basis. They should adopt schools and promising boys and girls. There should be more such schools and institutions where sports are given due importance along with liberal education. There should be sufficient budget and fund allocations for the purpose. The promising students should be provided with adequate training and playing facilities. They should be given chances of international exposure and competition at the very school stage.
There are scores of games and sports to choose from according to one’s taste, aptitude and physical fitness. Football, volleyball, basketball, badminton, lawn tennis, table tennis, athletics, weight- lifting, cricket, rowing, yachting, mountaineering are some of the well-known physical disciplines. More and more people, parents, private and public agencies should be involved in the promotion of games and sports. The promising and talented students should be provided with all the modern facilities to develop their skills in various games. They – should be given scholarships, and kept in residential schools with adequate coaching and field-facilities. There are hundreds of students who can really excel in various games and sports by dedicating themselves to the cause, if there is a secure future for them in years to come. The question of security in future is a great source of worry to the players. What about security and income in old age? Such problems should be addressed and solved immediately.
Ames and sports should be above party-politics and undesirable interference. It is high time that we as a nation and democratic country re-orient our attitude and reframe our priorities about games. Proper planning and its effective execution is the need of the hour. Proper development of games and sports can solve so many of our problems related to student unrest and indiscipline. The good habits formed in the playground stand in good stead throughout the life. Ames and sports teach the players obedience, fair-play, team-spirit, co-operation, courage, and tolerance, balance of mind and judgment quickness in decision-taking, punctuality and sense of oneness as Indians.
Our teams go abroad to participate in international sports events. They are our ambassadors and help in promoting the national interests. They can enhance the national image and respect by winning laurels and medals. They can also promote better understanding, cooperation and cultural ties between India and other countries. Exchange of players, sports-persons, coaches and teams can be a good source of international peace, mutual help and development.
Let us rise to the occasion as a nation and take more serious view of games and sports so as to inspire our young men and women with confidence, team-spirit, national pride and strict sense of discipline. Health is wealth and games are a must for our national health and well being. Only healthy, happy and courageous people can provide the desired leadership to the nation. The student of today is the citizens and leaders of tomorrow. Let them be molded into a tough, hard-working, disciplined and dedicated force through proper training and practice of games and sports. Let them have sound minds in their sound bodies. Only then we can hope to rise and become a powerful nation.