Every success achieved by a human in this world is not a sign of individual intellect, but that of team work or collective effort, where someone or something will have always played the role of a tutor, where there are heroes who’ve inspired them, competitors who compete against them, and the obstacles in their path. Similarly, the rise of an Indian sportsman or team from grassroot levels to stardom is mainly because of the collective work done by various sport hostels and sports academies. It serves as the initial catalyst in grooming their love and passion towards sports.
The reasons I rate sport hostels and sports academies as the first reactors in our athletic explosions are listed below:
1) Identification of Young Talents:
The quest for young aspirants to establish them on the world’s stage is a never ending saga of Indian sporting history. To facilitate this, an increasing number of sport hostels and academies have been established by our government. They identify players at a very young age, and streamline them into junior sporting categories such as the Under-14, Under-17 and Under-19 classes. The academies recruit young talents by conducting several tests which determine fitness, speed, endurance and the basic skills of their respective games. To identify a future stalwarts at a very young age is like giving birth to a genius or a prodigy.
In case of U-14 selections, coaches at these sport hostels face a sizeable task in convincing the young child and his family about the brighter future that lies ahead for the child. Life becomes easier for these coaches when it comes to the U-17 and U-19 selections as they can pick up their spring chickens quite easily due to the players’ mature minds.
Therefore, the graph for identification of young raw talents is steadily progressing from the low levels of early 1990’s. This is mainly due to the strengthening of the root levels, which can one day grow into a giant tree.
2) Nurturing Growth:
Nurturing fresh, young talent is pretty similar to bringing up a child after it’s birth. Here, academies or hostels need to be more secure about the growth of children since this is the stage where academies can nurture children by inculcating them with values such as love, courage, passion, knowledge, determination and a will to achieve success towards and for their respective sports. This boosts students automatically by successfully producing dividends after the players mature.
“Form is temporary, Class is permanent” reads a quote which re-imposes the faith of being in prime form. Being classy is always attained by playing more good matches against tougher opponents regularly. As a member of a sports academy, younger players always have a greater advantage of gaining more experience through playing high profile tournaments at state and national levels in different and difficult conditions.
Moreover, during these tournaments , they are able to utilise the input provided to them by Olympians or world class athletes. Meeting Olympians will always make these youngsters happy, and will inspire them to achieve more success, which is crucial at a young age.
Not everybody who produces a sound can become a great musician, but those who possess the Midas touch will become musical greats. Similarly, in sport, everybody can try their luck, but above all, it is the art of a perfect touch that matters. Because professionalism shows young players the importance of discipline and determination towards the game. Being professional is the peak point of one’s sporting career, and while the students of academies will experience this X-factor at the initial stage of their unpredictable career. The learning curve makes players understand that winning and losing is a part and parcel of the game, but they ought to remain upbeat on tough days and more grounded during their heyday.
5) Greater Exposure:
In the present media-centric world scenario, not every sport can get the same exposure that cricket does, but there will be exposure towards other games in our nation. Players at sport hostels and academies will always get greater exposure during national level tournaments, where players were identified through the lens of both government and private sector associations. These sectors will provide answers to players’ queries regarding their abilities. If the officials are impressed or pleased with the players effort , then the player will get a job and will be able to move to the next level of his career, thus enabling him to rub shoulders with his childhood and Olympic heroes and senior pros on the circuit. This process will boost him more mentally than physically.
These are the five most pivotal reasons I rate sport hostels, but there are some more terms in the list that fail to make the cut:
The incentives received by players for their outstanding performances now-a-days are higher than what Major Dhyan Chand, Milkha Singh or P.T.Usha received for their performances at international level. This will provide enough monetary resources for younger players’ preparations.
There is always a rather loud voice against poor infrastructure always rises, but I must proudly says that what I have seen in my state (Tamil Nadu) is quite satisfactory. Training which utilises better infrastructure will always makes their careers successful.
3) Careers related to sports:
If players can’t make it to the next level in their sporting careers, they can look out for jobs relating to sports by clearing courses at the NIS (National Institute of Sports).
The process of wearing the tag of a developed nation not only depends on the constant and steady growth of the economy, but also depends on the continuous rise in the sporting avenue.
The USA, Russia and the UK are considered developed nations in every aspect and China is on the verge of becoming a developed country, but we Indians are still far away when it comes to sport. We do provide a challenge for China in every field, but when it comes to sports field they are miles ahead of us, which indicates that if we need to become a developed nation before China does, we need to improve our grass root facilities significantly, which will only be made possible through the setting up of sport hostels and academies of a very high standard.