In a country of 1.22 Billion people, only 11 people have contested for swimming in the summer Olympics. How or what do we blame for this? Is the society or the government? There are a few reasons behind this and with the co-operation of the people and the government we can change this and make swimming a major sport and send many people who will win us medals.
Lack of access to pools and coaches
Many rural villages in India have great swimmers who rule the rivers and lakes but due to the lack of proper facilities they cannot come up. Unlike the developed countries where swimming centres and pools are available everywhere, in India, only the metros and cities have these facilities. With a bit of help from the government and the people, India could also develop swimming facilities and provide good coaches to train and develop people who would later become good athletes. The availability of good coaches is critical in the development of swimming initially we might have to bring coaches from abroad which is expensive but after a certain point of time, we would have produced good coaches.
Sport is often not considered a promising career prospect
Another problem we face is that many parents mostly who are not that well educated lack the money and time to help develop the talent of their children, while some do not let their children pursue sports. Many people don’t accept sports as a career mainly because of the economic point of view. Only recently a few people have changed with time and are happily sending their children for various sports and thus help promote it as their career.
Even if we have some really good swimmers many of them are not able to get into events because of the domination of other countries like USA, Russia, China. If we push through harder we too might get into the limelight. As a society, we must promote the sport and cheer for those at the top only then can we push through the other countries and come up.
History and Culture of India doesn’t have a place for Swimming
Indians, in general, are not that good in individual endurance sports like swimming but perform better at non-endurance based sports like archery, weightlifting, shooting, etc. We have less control on this factor but we can try to overcome it by more practice.
So to overcome these factors we need to make swimming the second nature of people by subjecting them to water from a young age. Then the availability of more swimming centres will help these young swimmers for their further growth. The availability of coaches poses a problem but it can be overcome by bringing coaches from abroad. These are most of the hurdles and barriers that lie on India’s path to glory in swimming.