mid-day editorial: Sports culture must begin at the ground level
An important day in the calendar went unnoticed in the Maximum City as it grappled with the rain and deluge. It was National Sports Day on Tuesday, the day Mumbai received its heaviest rainfall in 12 years. PM Narendra Modi, however, marked the occasion by congratulating sports enthusiasts across the country. He expressed hopes that sports will continue to flourish in India.
The prime minister used Twitter to pay rich tributes to legendary hockey player Major Dhyan Chand. Incidentally, even in the 35th edition of his monthly radio address, Mann Ki Baat, he remembered the legend for his immense contribution to hockey and the world of sports.
The PM's message was simple: Pursue sports with vigour and passion. While the Prime Minister's address may seem trite, given that people are used to his chosen publicity vehicle, his message holds significance because there's an urgent need to hone the sporting culture in India.
There's a need to create awareness about the need for sports in our lives to encourage more people to take it up, not just as a hobby, but also as a career. But, it's also true that sports enthusiasts should be given the necessary infrastructure to build on their talents. While the government is taking some initiatives in this direction, it is important that the basic flaws in the system be plugged before making further promises.
Provide better facilities, including more playgrounds and training centres with the right equipment and safety gear, at the school level to nurture talent from the onset. The government should ensure amenities such as drinking water, locker rooms and showers are offered at all training centres. Let us strive for excellence on all fronts as a sporting culture begins from the ground up.
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