India, being on the lower side of the medal tally at Tokyo Olympics 2020, is a cause of concern. Where one side countries like USA has secured more than 100 medals and China has around 40 gold medals, India is hanging on a score of 7 medals, with a single gold medal. We are going to discuss ahead the major reasons contributing to the poor performance of India at International Games, be it Olympics or Commonwealth games.
2 reasons behind below par performance of India at sports would be the following:
Memorize your school days and tell, how many sports classes you had in a week? What was the basic mindset of students while attending those sports classes? Well, your answer would not be different than other Indians.
Most of the schools schedule only one sports class in an entire week, and that class was supposed to be a fun class, where students use to hang out in the playground. Moreover, there must be situations where teachers, for completing the course, cancel the sports class and take their subject class. Now imagine, in a country where sports is given the least priority from the school itself, how can a child engage himself in sports activities when there is no support from the school and parents as well.
One more situation, you must have encountered situations where children has vast interest in games. He plays it for a few years scheduling time between school and studies with a hectic schedule. Now there comes a point, say class 11th, where the student has to mandatorily choose between either sports or academics, either due to family pressure or with the purpose of securing career prospects.
Now the point is only that in a country where a child has to face so many hurdles in going into the sports arena, how can we expect that they will get medals against countries which have a huge sports-supportive environment? The exceptional ones from some states like Haryana and the North-Eastern states have somewhat made the environment sports friendly, due to which they are able to fetch better results.
Practice infrastructure has the most significant influence over the performance of our sportspersons. You must have heard a lot of news about the inauguration of new cricket ground, but recall a news where a new badminton court or swimming pool was inaugurated. These are rarely taken care of.
Continuing from the school environment, if a child anyhow, continues with his favorite sports and reaches the national level. Now if the country wants him to perform at the International level, it requires sports equipment as well as infrastructure to practice on that level. But if we talk about the condition of India, there are several big cities where not a single sports complex is there. And if it is there, it's condition is pathetic.
If we take the example of swimming pools, most of the pools get to a very low temperature during the winters, making it almost impossible for the swimmers to practice in winters. The number of temperature controlled swimming pools in India is so low that it never fits the demand. Moreover, they are majorly situated in metro cities. Thus, where an American swimmer practices for 12 months in an year, Indian swimmers are able to practice for only 6-7 months an year.
We have talked about the factors on a ground level basis which affect the performance and efficacy of Indian athletes. As long as these factors are not turned into favor of the country, good performance at the International level will remain a dream.