Sowing the seeds of sporting glory
Youth and high school sports in India, is not something many of us give much thought to. For most children it’s just a way of staying away from studies and for most parents…well its pretty much the same (hence a waste of time!). While for some countries, the likes of USA, Australia and China, that take gold medals (by hundreds) home in Olympics; youth sports is a big deal. In India, it’s just not paid much attention to. An average Indian youth can not even be expected to be aware of what Lacrosse is!
Yet the picture is not all that bleak. Youth and high school sports are being increasingly viewed as an integral part of the education and not just as a time waste. Additionally, they provide an equally gratifying career path, if taken seriously enough. Therefore academic institutions as well as parents are considering youth and high school sports in a much better light today.
Cricket for one is a highly admired sport in India and there is not a decent public/private school in India without a cricket team! Football is also a devotedly played game in eastern and western states of India. Other popular youth and high school sports are basketball, volleyball, tennis and badminton. Physical education as a compulsory course till senior secondary school ensures that children get some exposure to various athletic activities like acrobatics, swimming, running, wrestling, boxing, etc. In addition to all these outdoor sports; indoor sports like chess, table tennis and carom find many takers in schools too. The bonus lure of ‘sports quota’ for higher education is also an encouraging factor for rural and urban youth alike, to take keen interest in high school sports.
True, it’s a long way to go before India can have movies like “High School Musical” inspired from real life, and youth sportsbecome as important for education of the new generation as they should rightly be. But Indian youth and its school are surely close to the right path.