Sports in India, barring the mammoth that is Cricket, are still in somewhat of a developing phase. We have had some world beaters in sports such as Chess, Shooting, and the like – though even there a case can be made that the real constant Champion we’ve had has only been Vishwanathan Anand in Chess – while the likes of Football, Badminton, and even Tennis, for all the recent success that we’ve had, can still be said to be in their evolving phase (Especially team sports like Football).
Now the question is : How can NRIs / PIOs help in making India a Superpower in Sports ? Here we look at how Non Resident Indians (NRIs) can help develop these sports in their country of origin:
NRIs involved in the sporting scene overseas could have a stint in India and help the various coaching facilities in their field by providing their technical know-how and expertise on matters of strategic as well as organizational import. They could also expand and set up their own sports management and training companies in the country, thereby developing the sports scene here with their long-term involvement.
In sports such as football, rugby, and the like, strategies and tactics could be worked upon from the grassroots level right to the top, while those involved in the medical and health side of things could work on other things of similar importance such as diet and physiotherapy, which though it is given importance here today, has yet to reach the level of detailing and fine-tuning as is seen on the world stage.
Playing for India
There are many players of Indian origin living in far-off countries and playing their sport of choice at a professional level. However, some of them are not playing at a level high enough for them to be selected by the National Teams of those countries. In such cases, instead of waiting for a future chance where they may or may not get selected for the NT, they could instead try out for their country of origin – India, here – and play for it. Not only would it propel them to stardom and bring the sport into the limelight, it would also help the team having a player who has the experience of having played at the highest level, and the experience with which to back it up.
Such a case in point was Vikram Chopra, who played football with Newcastle, and could have represented the Indian Football team in his prime, however he let that chance get away as he awaited a call up to the English team, and in the end did not get to play for either of them. The government and sports ministry should also make things easier for such sportspeople and provide them the option of dual citizenship, instead of having to relinquish one.
Sponsoring Sports Teams
An important way in which NRIs can help the Nation is by investing in the many new sports leagues which are cropping up in the country, either as the owner, or as a partner. Not only will this help the sport grow in the country, the expected long return on investment is also high, as seen by the mercurial growth of the IPL after its inaugural season, and the steady rise of the ISL which is happening now.
Adopting Sports persons / Players
Adopting sports people who do not come from affluent families, and sponsoring their sporting needs could also be done. Not only is it a nice form of earning goodwill, and returning to the society and the ones in need, it also fulfils the CSR of individuals and their organizations. But most importantly, beyond the realm of profit and returns, it will give the person the knowledge that they have done some good and enriched another human life, propelling it on the path to success and happiness.
Statistics & Data
Today, the sporting world have developed by leaps and bounds, and there is data available about the smallest of moves, and there is information available to the tiniest detail about the players. Indians residing overseas and working in these fields could help the sports scene in the country by bringing these advancements in the field to our country. Statistics and Data will help manage the technical and developmental side of sports to a mighty extent and help the growth of our youngsters to the highest possible level. They could volunteer their services to the sports ministry, set up their own organizations, freelance, or work with already existing organizations. The possibilities are endless!
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