“Sports are played within the court between the two ears”.
The recent boom of Badminton in India, with the women’s team reaching the semi-finals of the Thomas Uber Cup, and with Liverpool and Paris St Germaine launching football academies in India, sports in India is on the rise.
But with the recent general elections, expenses have been exponential thus affecting various sport federations. Lesser-known sports such as rowing, fencing, taekwondo are now being forced to charge athletes for their participation and accommodation fees, during National Meets. Here are some lesser-known facts about these Sports-
1. KD Jadhav was independent India’s first individual Olympic Medalist in the freestyle wrestling event in Helsinki, in 1952. He won a bronze.
2. The first judo demonstration was arranged at Shanti Niketan in 1929, by Rabindranath Tagore.
3. First Rowing club in India is in Calcutta. It was started in 1858.
4. An 18th century French Traveler in India once came across a fencing master who had taught some elephants to fence some foil using their trunks. They were so quick that no one could defeat them.
5 . Kabbadi received International exposure during the 1936 Berlin Olympic games, demonstrated by Hanuman Vyayam Drasarak Mandal, Amravati, Maharashtra .
Sports in India have been degrading due to inefficient governance, red tapeism and no allocation of funds. Gareth Bale’s world record move to Real Madrid cost 860 crores, a third of India’s sports budget of 2013 which was 1220 crores !
As part of the youth brigade, we need to sit back and take notice , and most importantly, take Action.
By Shlomoh Samuel
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