Fans, Startups, Enthusiasts & Enablers Confidence Soars Like Javelin
India’s performance at the recently concluded Tokyo Olympic could prove to be the much-needed booster-shot for Indian sports
The games were “India’s best in terms of the medal tally” that included the first Gold in the track and field event. The Tokyo games have galvanised Indian fans, athletes, enthusiasts, enablers and the state and central governments towards dreaming BIG! A country with
over a Billion population is hungry for more Gold!
This country’s performance will enhance confidence and commitment among sport enablers, setting India on the path to becoming a sporting powerhouse.
Modern-day sports are no longer limited to professionals; they are now played or practised for fitness and leisure. This has led to the birth of sports entrepreneurs spanning from microbusinesses, startups to large business houses such as IPL owners. All in the race to get a piece of the sporting action. And, this trend is going to soar higher and far, as did Neeraj Chopra’s Javelin during the Tokyo Olympics.
A close look at the emergence of sport in India highlights two distinct trends. First, most sports talent is emergering from rural India, and the infrastructure disparity between rural and urban India is the cause for concern.
Second, Urban India has taken up sports for fitness and leisure. But, most sports startups & micro-businesses that offer international standard infrastructure, training & coaching, sporting gear and events are based in Urban India. This gap between urban and rural India provided startups and entrepreneurs with an opportunity to address pain points through
their unique ventures.
Many retired Sports personals, who represented India at various events, are promoting their respective games & sports by setting up global standard training & coaching facilities. In addition, many sports enthusiasts are building talent at the grassroots level through their ventures.
SparUp, a sports startup, helps in tracking & boost physical activity using technology. Its "comprehensive digital platform is designed for athletes and coaches to track, analyse and improve sports performance using data and sports science."
Similarly, Proforce, a Mumbai based sports startup, provides holistic sports education to the K-12 segment of schools in India. In addition, Proforce works on enhancing the school sports performance in different sports.
Siddharth Deshmukh, a founder of @SportsySays, a sports education media platform that hosts a talk show with various stakeholders of the Sports Industry, says, his platform will make "sports knowledge accessible and aspirational, inspirational, and motivational sporting stories."
Hyderabad based technology-enabled sports infra startup, Gamepoint has a chain of world-class multi-sport centres with quality sports facilities. It is making "a significant contribution to building India's sports culture by providing millions of ordinary Indians convenient access to learn and play sports.
Corporate India plays a key role in bridging the gap by setting aside some CSR funds for sports. According to Yousufuddin's, Under 19 Football Coach, CSR funds have provided "adequate support to go to the rural areas in search of good players." He further adds, "we can conduct camps to create awareness in schools and colleges in rural areas and
then bring extraordinary players to the district level.
According to Deshmukh, "sports brings attitude and a focused approach on and off the field. Sport teaches discipline, decision making, compassion, gratitude and most importantly, attitude. Sports help athletes become good human beings."
Sports helps the overall growth of individuals, especially youth; thus, its contribution is way beyond just winning medals. It is time for India to progress from a "Sports Loving Nation To A Sports Playing Nation."