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Essay
India’s performance in Commonwealth games

The Commonwealth Games is an international multi-sport event involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. The event was first held in 1930, and has taken place every four years since then. The Commonwealth of Nations is an intergovernmental organisation of 53 member states that are mostly former territories of the British Empire.

India has competed in fourteen of the eighteen previous Commonwealth Games; starting at the second Games in 1934. India has also hosted the games one time in 2010. The Commonwealth games provide an excellent platform for our sportsperson to showcase their talents. Apart from that it also enables good relations with Commonwealth of Nations. Such good relationships are important from Indian perspective, particularly when India is asserting itself on the world stage.

India hosted the Games in 2010, at Delhi. It was India’s most successful Commonwealth Games to date with Indian athletes winning 38 gold, 27 silver and 36 bronze medals. This was the first time India hosted such a grand sporting event ever. The hosting of Commonwealth games also heralded new idea of India-that of vibrant and a thriving society.

India is placed fourth in the overall tally of Medals scored ever since the inception of Commonwealth games.

Indian sportsperson have won medals in various sports such as Weightlifting, Badminton, Wrestling, Shooting, Hockey and Boxing. These areas have been a constant source of medals for India. However, what is more heartening is the fact that our women athletes too have shown remarkable growth and success in these games. Their growth and participation is a matter of pride for all Indians.

However, India still lags behind countries such as Australia, England and Canada in medal tally. Our country has failed to achieve the number one position in any of the Commonwealth games conducted. This is a fact that needs to be addressed by the policymakers at the highest level.

Though Commonwealth games have been rich hunting ground for our sportspersons, this success has not been translated at a much grander level of sports- Olympics. India has consistently failed to show a positive growth. In this regard, maybe our policymakers can emulate the success achieved by ‘China’ which was lagging in the medals tally during the 1980’s to being one among the top in recent Olympics conducted.

Our aim then should not only be to achieve a number one position in Commonwealth games conducted henceforth but also to improve our medal tally in Olympics. And to achieve there needs to be systematic change at every level. Some of them are:

  1. Identify talent at the earliest level and ensure that these talents are properly nurtured at every stage. The government through its ‘Khelo India’ programme is aiming to do just the same
  2. A behavioral change needs to be brought in our society which is stacked against pursuing professional sports. Government should take care that pursuing professional sports comes with requisite monetary benefits too
  3. Committee should be established at the national, state and district level to formulate policies, oversee sports programmes in India.
  4. These committee should have representation from both government, civil society and sporting fraternity
  5. An increase in outlay of sports in both our national and state budget is needed at the earliest hour to ensure proper infrastructure
  6. World class coaching facilities staffed by talented coaches is the need of the hour
  7. Encouraging private investment in this area.
  8. Collaboration should be explored with other countries to ensure we adopt their best practices

If the above steps are implemented in both spirit and word, it would not be long until we see India topping the medal tally not just in Commonwealth games but also in Olympics.

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