I’ll start with a renowned question you must be bored of- “Do you know, Hockey is the national sport of India?” The players of the same sport recently protested against the non-payment of their dues and the poor quality food they eat on tours and trainings, and their health insurance- something that every sport-person deserves. And there was a big halla over the “awakening of the sleeping minors”.
We all know about Steve Waugh and his active participation in cricket academies in Indian cities, don’t we? Now, how many of us know about Santi Freixa? Well, he is an internationally renowned hockey player from Spain, who has opened a Hockey Academy in Anantpur district of Andhra Pradesh. He coaches the children of the neighbouring livelihood to become the next Dhyan Chand. These children belong to lower middle-class families. This academy is not a “shop” where you have to pay hefty amounts to “learn” hockey just like several cricket academies across India, rather its an institution with a heart to it- where academics is also taken care of.
We have Jeev Milkha Singh and Saina Nehwal with title-winning championships. We have Somdev Devvaraman and Sania Mirza entering into playing at the Grand Slam level. We have many boxers taking their part of beating, to bring pride to themselves and their motherland. But, India deserves much more in sports. A Nehru Cup title in Football or a Super Series Tournament win in Badminton have given us the start. If robustly supported, India could see its players winning everywhere. I am optimistic that the tides will turn.
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