Delhi guns for Olympics glory
Nothing succeeds like success. The recent exploits of Indian Olympians at London such as Sushil Kumar, Gagan Narang and MC Mary Kom have inspired a whole new generation to take up sports, Neelam Pandey reports.delhi Updated: Aug 25, 2012 15:39 IST
Nothing succeeds like success. The recent exploits of Indian Olympians at London such as Sushil Kumar, Gagan Narang and MC Mary Kom have inspired a whole new generation to take up sports.
And among those who are now living the Olympics dream in India are rows of passionate kids who could be seen lining up the tracks at Delhi's Chhatrasal Stadium.
The summer athletics event organized by the sports department of Delhi government was attended by 2,600 students from 176 schools in 2011.
This year the number has crossed the 5,000 mark with 300 schools participating in the event held to spot new talent.
Also, in a talent search competition organised by the department for Judo, 370 entries have been received for a single age group of below 14, whereas last year same entries were received for three different age groups."Earlier sports were merely used as a stepping stone to get admissions through sports quota. But after the Commonwealth Games and the recently-concluded Olympics, students are now looking at it as a career option. There is a huge shift in the perception of the students as well as their parents," said Amit Singla, director sports, Delhi government.
According to officials, the entries are from government as well as public schools. Students identified through these talent hunts are then groomed to take part in zonal-level competitions.
Once they cross that hurdle, the young athletes move on to participate in inter-zonal level events and then to the National School Games.
"Winning Olympic glory has now become more believable. Since we have the infrastructure, students must benefit from it. There is no point constructing a stadium and then locking it up. Our next target is 2016 Olympics now," said Satpal, coach of Sushil Kumar and additional director of sports and physical education, Delhi government.
"Coaching is an essential part of the overall grooming and we have been giving tips to students how to perform better," said Ashwini Kumar, coach of the badminton team which is going to represent Delhi in the Asia Junior Sports Exchange Games to be held in Tokyo.