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India needs nurturing a sports culture: former players

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - 20:23

New Delhi: India lacks a sports culture
which could be remedied only by bringing in changes in the
education system, according to former players from various

A panel of former sporting greats, including badminton
national coach Pullela Gopichand and former hockey star Viren
Rasquinha, felt the necessity of a public-prive partnership
model if India has to produce more successful sportspersons.

"Sportpersons start having doubts about their careers
when they reach adolescence. They have to choose either sports
or education and the education system in India doesn`t allow
sportspersons to pursue education later on," Gopichand said
while addressing a session on "Sports as an emerging career
option -- Challenges and Opportunities" here.

Olympic Gold Quest COO, Viren stressed on the importance
of having a public-private partnership for running of games.

"We need private and public partnership in governing and
running the game. We need people with relevant expertise and a
professional set up in each sports," he said.

Asked about the reasons behind the downfall of Indian
hockey in the country, Viren said, "It is a combination of
many little things which have accumulated into a big problem.
We need to ensure that we work at the grassroot level."

"In hockey, there are no proper domestic circuit. Players
are taught rubbish by the coaches which gets reflected when
they play international matches. There needs to be a way of
coaching the coaches," he said.

Also present were cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle, world
cross country champion IAAF Gebregziabher Ggremariam of
Ethiopia and rifle shooter Shimon Sharif.


First Published: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - 20:23
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