Sports has emerged as a major field for showcasing young talent and making a significant presence in the world. Apart from the focus on sports infrastructure, management, facilitation of talent and international participation, sports in India today has also evolved as an academic discipline, which produces a cadre of experts in the relevant subfields, who will be considered for permanent benefits of career prospects.
India has the largest youth population in the world. The country should focus on educating and training the youth in various sports-related activities.
Research and practice reveal its many benefits, such as health and wellness, self-confidence, mental health, competitive spirit, discipline, time management, goals and achievement aptitude, etc.
There are many easy ways to involve youth in sports activities, such as walking, running, cycling, swimming, gym workouts etc.
They also have various benefits, such as psycho-motivation, skill development, lowering energy levels through physical exertion, reducing the risk of obesity and making lifestyle changes and incorporating physical activity into the lifestyle, etc. Choosing sports as a career guarantees an expected income for life.
In this context, the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has taken several steps. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 epidemic, India has built a global identity this year by winning seven medals in the Olympics and 19 medals in the Paralympics. The number of sports universities in India is still very few. Physical education specialists are mainly doing the work of training the players.
With a view to identify, train, and motivate talented sportspersons, an elite National Center for Sports Science and Research will be set up in New Delhi by the Government of India. Its objective is to promote education, research, and innovation in sports science. The centre will establish an institutional network as a holistic faculty to provide support arrangements related to sports science and medicine.
It will also act as a major centre for providing sports science equipment to the centres of the Sports Authority of India. Under this scheme, faculties of sports science in six universities across the country will be installed/reinforced with postgraduate programs in sports biochemistry, sports and physiology, sports biomechanics, sports physiotherapy, training methods and sports nutrition, sports psychology and sports medicine.
Through this initiative, the above universities will help in creating a pool of highly skilled human resources in the field of sports science and sports medicine. This will improve sports research and reduce dependence on foreign experts. This is an important step towards the goal of self-reliant India in the field of sports.
Tamil Nadu-based Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development will propose a two-year master’s degree program in sports science with subjects like sports psychology, sports physiology, sports medicine and sports management. From the academic year 2022, this special curriculum, designed to meet the future requirements of the sports industry, will also facilitate practice.
Today, there are thousands of Indian players who have become millionaires from sports once considered a hobby. It is expected that the sports industry will provide lucrative career options such as managers, various experts, consultants and coaches, referees, umpires, psychologists, doctors, sports media and other officials engaged in the management of sporting events, etc.
The sports sector contributes significantly to the Indian economy by providing employment on a large scale. With a global industry of around $500 billion, the sports sector offers a myriad of entrepreneurial opportunities. It is progressing continuously.
There will be a huge demand in the sports sector for candidates who are successful in the academic courses through the National Center and Youth Development Institute. They can start a start-up and will have a choice of different roles.
Some possible start-ups related to the sports industry could be photography, sports writing, sports clubs, coaching, personal trainers, a variety of specialists, training centres, Sports infrastructure companies, sports equipment manufacturing, sports facilities consulting, sports camps, Sports app creators, Sports magazine publishers, Sports website builders, YouTube trainers, sports clothing & accessories manufacturers, Video game makers, sports therapists, partnering with the corporate world to promote sports activities among employees, etc. These efforts will provide excellent opportunities to the youth who want to become sportspersons or make a career in the field of sports.