Sports persons compete in various sports depending on what sport they take up as their expertise, like Archery, Badminton, Basketball, Volleyball, Boxing, Cycling, Diving, Equestrian, Fencing Football, Gymnastics, Handball, Hockey, Judo, Rowing, Sailing, Shooting, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis, Volleyball, Water Polo, Weightlifting, Wrestling etc.
Sports as a career
If sports interest you then there are many options that you can look for, like playing a sport fulltime, becoming a sports coach / instructor and venturing out in the allied fields like sports journalism, sports medicine and sports management, event management and facility management ( maintenance of stadiums and academies for sports).
To be a sportsperson, the sooner one begins the better. Having talent in the chosen sport is very important. People who are able to find a good coach and training have a better chance of becoming successful. Strong determination and perseverance in needed along with talent. One can take training at various facilities of Sports Authority of India. One can begin after class 12 or earlier. One can begin career at the amateur level and start participating in the State level, Regional level and finally graduate to the National level.
Other than SAI, there are many state level and private organizations that support sports enthusiasts. In many SAI establishments, the government bears the cost of training and also brings top level coaches. Most of the SAI programmes also have scholarships and student supports and students can also look for financial assistance since many sportspeople in India struggle to find sponsorships.
Cricket is a passion in India and one can find cricket academies all over the country. Various tournaments are played at the domestic level, which help players qualify for the national team, the chief ones being the Ranji and the Duleep trophy.
Football is another national favourite game. The All India Football Federation is the governing body that oversees the conduct of various league matches, club, district, all India and national football tournaments. The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has coaches to provide training in the sport and the District Sports Councils also conduct sports camps for youngsters.
Hockey although is our national game but has not caught the fancy of youngsters. Recently the hockey federation has started Hockey League like IPL in cricket. The qualifying matches are played in the Dhyan Chand Tournament and Indian Hockey Federation is the governing body for hockey in India. Chess is another popular sport. One can start with school based event and then reach the state and then national level.
Horse Riding is considered a skill and traditionally related to India. The Equestrian Federation of India promotes the sport in India. In various cities one can find Horse riding trainers and the Jodhpur Polo and Equestrian Institute, and various others provide professional training.
For tennis, Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza are seen as role models by many enthusiasts. Every big city now has tennis academy out of which many are affiliated to the All India Tennis Association. One usually plays in the junior circuit and depending on the ranking gets entry into major events.
Abhinav Bindra’s Olympic gold and Gagan Narang’s performance inspired many to pursue shooting. The National Rifle Association of India is the only association in India that trains civilians for the purpose of self-defence. It is associated with various international shooting federations. The National Rifle Association of India has around sixty associations or units spread across the country and has international coaches to train up-coming shooters. The Sports Authority of India has been constituted at the National level to encourage and develop acumen in sports. SAI has State level branches to organise, manage and conduct a host of schemes intended to promote sports facilities and assistance for the talented. Sports Authority of India (SAI) is responsible for training coaches, R&D in sports, physical education, R&D in physical education, sports promotion, nurturing talent, and training of athletes.
Age 9-12 --> National sports talent scheme-Talent in swimming, athletics, gymnastics as well as ball and net games which include tennis, hockey, basketball, table tennis, football, volleyball, badminton and wrestling are supported under this scheme. Students in the 9 to 12 age can qualify tests conducted by the Sports Authority. The tests check general and specific physical skills required for each of the disciplines. Selected students undergo sports training along with school education in one of the SAI sponsored schools. The sponsorship includes all expenditures including tuition fee, boarding, lodging, incidental expenditures, sports kits maintenance allowances, medical facilities, travel etc. Coaches provide the necessary training to students selected under this scheme, conduct evaluation tests and maintain performance records.
Age 16-20 --> Students can benefit from the Hostel scheme in sponsored institutions. Special Area Games Schemes operate for identifying and nurturing talent from all regions in the country.
Army --> Regimental training centres have schools where students with sporting talent from neighboring areas are enrolled. Education, training in sports, and military training completes the curriculum.
Scholarships at colleges/universities --> Students participating in national championships, inter-university tournaments are eligible for the Sports Talent Scholarship awarded by the Government of India, Department of Youth Affairs and Sports. Candidates are selected on the basis of merit, ascertained by a duly constituted Selection Committee.
Private sponsorships --> SAI has six regional sports centres. Coaching facilities in popular sports such as badminton, tennis, hockey and cricket are provided. The facilities provided are of international standards. Special Sports Academies/Federations provide similar facilities. These are often privately sponsored and sportspersons with proven talent are supported by these academies.
A student can opt for career in sports in any of the fields of his interest like cricket, hockey, boxing, swimming, volleyball, tennis etc.
Many sportsperson usually take up courses in Physical Education along with training in their sport. Although it is not mandatory but since sports is not a life time career and one usually ventures later into other careers it is better to continue education in the field..
There are many colleges and training institutes in India that provide various courses.
(1.) BPCAS College of Physical Education, Mumbai
(2.) Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, Delhi
(3.) Utkal University, Bhubaneshwar
(4.) University of Delhi
(5.) Dhyan Chandra Sports College, Lucknow
(6.) University of Madras, Tamil Nadu
(7.) Sports University Rai, Haryana
(8.) Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya, Indore
(9.) Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar
(10.) Degree College of Physical Education, Gujarat
(11.) Rajasthan Mahila Physical Teachers Training Vidyalaya, Udaipur
(12.) MRF Pace Foundation, Chennai
(13.) Tata Football Academy, Jamshedpur
(14.) National Cricket Academy, Bangalore
(15.) Gujarat University, Ahmedabad
(16.) National Sports East Centre, Kolkata
(17.) Amity School of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, Noida
(18.) Bhupathi Tennis Academy, Bangalore
(19.) Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, New Delhi.
(20.) Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education, Gwalior
At the international level the pay offs are very good. Also some of the sports offer good remunerations while for others that is not the case. With some success come sponsorship, brand endorsements and ad revenues.
It’s a dream for every sports person to represent India at the international events. Many strive hard to realize this dream and later venture into related fields. After experience working as a coach or Instructor is a very natural transition. Besides they can work as Physical Education Instructors and Umpire/Referee. Many take up assignments of managing sports and leisure clubs and go to sports journalism whether written or as a commentator or Anchor for sports shows.
Armed forces and Indian government have special recruitment drives for exceptional sporting talent. Many public sector undertaking also provide employment to sports persons.
While Sachin Tendulkar and Dhoni are demi Gods in India some other famous people are Saina Nehwal, Mary Kom, Vijendra Singh, Sushil Kumar, Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang.
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