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Sport Sector in India |

Sport Sector in India

Context

∙ The Prime Minister has inaugurated the sixth edition of the Khelo India Youth Games in Chennai.

About

∙ The Prime Minister of India recently credited the various reforms undertaken by the Union government for India’s success in sports.

∙ Highlighting that sports was not just limited to the field, but also presents a huge economic opportunity, he said the country’s sports-related industry will be worth at least 1 lakh crore in a few years.

∙ He asserted that India has a vast pool of sporting talent and is prepared to host the 2036 Olympic Games.

Reforms taken by the Government in the sports sector:

Talent Development and Athlete Support:

∙ Khelo India Program: Launched in 2017, this ambitious program identifies and nurtures young talent at the grassroots level through scholarships, training camps, and competitions across various sports.

∙ Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS): Provides dedicated financial and logistical support to elite athletes with potential to win medals at the Olympic Games.

∙ National Sports Awards: Recognizes and rewards outstanding achievements of athletes, coaches, and administrators.

∙ Sports Authority of India (SAI): Revamped infrastructure and coaching staff at SAI training centers across the country.

Infrastructure Development:

∙ Khelo India Youth Games: Organizes annual national sports competitions for young athletes, utilizing upgraded infrastructure and facilities since 2018.

∙ Development of Sports Infrastructure Scheme: Provides financial assistance to states and sports bodies for upgrading existing and building new sports infrastructure.

∙ Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs): Encourages private sector participation in development and management of sports facilities.

Governance and Policy Reforms:

∙ National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA): Strengthens anti-doping measures and implements stringent regulations to promote clean and fair competition.

∙ National Sports Development Code of India: Provides a framework for governance, funding, and development of sports in India.

∙ Empowering National Sports Federations (NSFs): Reforms NSFs to ensure transparency, accountability, and autonomy in their operations.

Promoting Sports as a Career:

∙ University Grants Commission (UGC) Sports Scholarship Scheme: Provides financial support to student athletes pursuing higher education.

∙ National Sports University: Established First National Sports University of the country in Manipur at a total sanctioned cost of Rs.643.34 crore to provide world-class academic and athletic training.

∙ Career guidance and skill development programs: Equips athletes with skills and resources to transition successfully into post-retirement careers.

Sports Sector in India

∙ The market size of the sports industry across India was about 142 billion Indian rupees in 2022 and is expected to reach 300 billion Indian rupees by 2027.

∙ Cricket remains the dominant sport, but other sports like kabaddi, football, badminton, and hockey are gaining popularity and attracting significant viewership and investment.

Drivers of Growth

∙ Rising disposable incomes: Increased spending power fuels participation in sports and consumption of sports-related goods and services.

∙ Government initiatives: Schemes like Khelo India and Target Olympics Podium Scheme prioritize athlete development and infrastructure improvement.

∙ Private sector participation: Investments by corporations and entrepreneurship in leagues, franchises, and sports infrastructure are on the rise.

∙ Media & technology: Improved broadcasting, digital platforms, and online gaming are expanding fan engagement and revenue streams.

Challenges and Concerns

∙ Uneven development: Cricket enjoys disproportionate attention and resources, hindering the growth of other sports.

∙ Infrastructure deficit: Lack of quality sporting facilities in rural areas and smaller towns limits access and talent development.

∙ Lack of grassroots focus: Focus on elite athletes often neglects broader participation and talent identification at the grassroots level.

∙ Doping and corruption: Combating these issues is crucial for building a fair and healthy sporting ecosystem.

Opportunities and Measures

∙ Diversification: Expanding focus on other sports, especially Olympic disciplines, has immense potential for growth and medal glory.

∙ Technology and innovation: Sports tech startups and data analytics can revolutionize training, fan engagement, and revenue generation.

∙ Rural outreach: Government and private efforts to develop rural sports infrastructure and talent identification programs are crucial for inclusivity.

∙ Women’s sports: Increased participation and investment in women’s sports hold tremendous potential for growth and empowerment.

Way Ahead

∙ The Indian sports sector is undergoing a fascinating transformation, fueled by rising incomes, increased awareness, and growing government and private sector investment.

∙ With its immense potential and ongoing developments, the Indian sports sector is poised for an exciting future.

∙ Addressing the challenges, capitalizing on opportunities, and fostering a collaborative ecosystem will be key to creating a thriving and inclusive sporting landscape that benefits all stakeholders.

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