Every sport will not get the same sponsorships as others. Yet, players must not face lack of money or the thought that the country really cares for them and wants them to go ahead and win other contests as well
HS Prannoy. Pic/AFP
Shuttler H S Prannoy feels India’s historic Thomas Cup win in Bangkok earlier this year may have changed things in smaller ways, but the big changes have yet to come.
In a report, Prannoy said that he did not think anything big had changed [since the Thomas Cup win]. He believed that perhaps it was a short-lived thing for some, and players have to do something large like at cricket level. He stated that people are still hesitant to sponsor badminton events and leagues in India. Badminton is the highest played sport in the country, he said, but they were still behind when it comes to sponsorships.
That having said, we must move to make training and competing more feasible and better for every sport. Comparisons with cricket aside, it is vital that players do feel acknowledged, appreciated and rewarded, even if not on the same level as other sports.
We have to see they have access to the best training facilities and their needs taken care of, so that they are not worrying about finances as they look at other goals.
Every sport will not get the same sponsorships as others. Yet, players must not face lack of money or the thought that the country really cares for them and wants them to go ahead and win other contests as well.
We have to look at this aspect post the Commonwealth Games, as the Olympics in Paris loom two years from now. We have made strides in certain aspects but the human factor is most important. Our athletes must have amenities and opportunities. One may be unable to control sponsorships, though it would be good if the corporate world wakes up to other sports. Government support though should be rock solid and reassuring, so that our players are not without funding basics. Ever onward, India.