The love for sports in India is moving beyond the game of cricket towards a wide variety of sports, resulting in the growth of viewership, participation, and sports-related industries. Very recently India gave it’s the best performance at Asian games, which is certainly a very welcoming change . However when we talk about sports, we seldom talk about an immensely popular sport. Can you guess it out? Of course, you can do. It’s Swimming. Most of us can still think of Micheal Phelps only when it comes to knowledge about swimming. That very well explains why we have no international recognition in the sport.
With almost 125 crore people and counting, we have still not been able to find the best ranks among the top ten swimmers in the world in any style. Frankly, India’s performance in swimming in international events has not been anything to mention about. While there have been some talented swimmers like Virdhawal Khade, Sajan Prakash, Advait who have made the occasional splash, Indian swimming still has a lot to achieve.
Where lie’s the problem?
Former multiple Olympic champion Stephanie Rice of Australia believes that lack of world-class coaching has held Indian swimmers back for many years now. While talking to a leading daily, Rice said: “The biggest lacking in swimming space in India is coaching, In Australia, we have the best coaches in the world and that’s why we do so well.”
“There is a lot of opportunities for India to do well in swimming because there are so many athletes. India needs to invest in good coaches”
“Whenever you hear about a promising Indian swimmer, he or she is training abroad. You need to keep them in India and build a strong pool of swimmers. I see that happening in India now and want to be a part of that development,” the three-time Beijing Olympic gold medallist told a leading daily during a conversation on the sidelines of the Ekamra Sports Literary Festival.”
Talking about the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, Rice said that the fight in the pool for the maximum medals will be between heavyweights USA & China.
“Australia always does well in the pool so I hope they will do so again. But we are struggling at the moment. The US always dominate because of their depth and China has produced excellent young swimmers, so that is where the fight will be,” the champion swimmer signed off.
It’s time that we as a nation support our athletes, provide them adequate facilities, exposures, and capable coaches. No milestone is achieved overnight, it takes a great amount of planning, infrastructure, hard work and support to achieve them. We still do not have Swimming Pools like we have cricket grounds around in every school. It’s time for a change . Don’t you think so?