Public should demand play spaces to promote sports for life

In the last decade or so, sports culture within India is penetrating in the thought process and spreading steadily than ever before. However, it would be premature to conclude that India is becoming a sporting nation as experts feel it is just the beginning of a welcome change.

Saumil Majmudar, Co-Founder & CEO of EduSports, who as sports enthusiast instead of becoming a technocrat or manager careerist after obtaining his education from the prestigious IIT-Bombay & IIM-Bangalore, chose to venture into sports entrepreneurship, feels the awareness about fitness, health and sports careers has grown for a variety of reasons that include social media. “Parents are driving a change. Health and fitness is becoming a demand. The onset of IPL and other leagues, successes in international competitions and government push together have fired imagination of youth. All this is creating a ripple and let’s hope it became a wave where every child gets to play for life,” he adds.

Majmudar, an ardent sports fanatic who pioneered entrepreneur in sports  though not with much luck  initially and now himself a very successful sports education provider perhaps depicts this trend. His company is now among more than a dozen such companies which are providing curriculum-based age appropriate sports education in thousands of schools across India. “The fundamental thinking about sports has to change. Most people, includes school principals view sports from the point of view of competition. A few of star performers get all the attention. Again providing coaches and academies is same. Sports are not a race. It is a fundamental need. We have to see the value sports create apart from fitness. Every child has a right to experience sports, which help him or her in real life and shaping attitude,” adds Majmudar.

For most people lack of spaces is a myth, more so in schools. Children see spaces where adults see only walls. Only thing is if there is a system and systematic way of approaching sports as life skills. But nevertheless, lack of proper sports infrastructure and grounds is a bigger national issue that needs immediate attention. Public should demand play spaces in their areas instead of parks or walking tracks only.

The least people across the country can do is not to throw waste in open spaces, which can used for playing by children. A bigger contribution would be coming to watch matches, games and play activities. “The crowds would pull sponsors and media. It will be bottom up approach where sports will become a culture and there will be a cascading from lifestyle changes to medal winning,” feels Majmudar.