With India winning more than a 100 medals in the Commonwealth Games 2010 and rising to the second slot in the overall tally, sports has suddenly become the national binding force of India. The common man is rejoicing because few dedicated men and women have brought the pride back into sports. There is a general murmur around that India now plays not just to participate but to win.
But can we take this confidence and new found glory to the next level? Can we show to the entire world in the mega event called the Olympics that Indian Sports is now a force to reckon with? Is it still an impossible dream? Still a difficult task to accomplish?
It is certainly difficult but not impossible. And to realise this very dream, two veteran sports legends of India – Prakash Padukone and Geet Sethi established the Foundation for Promotion of Sports and Games, with a program called the Olympic Gold Quest.
The Olympic Gold Quests main aim is to search for talent, real talent that can help the national anthem of India be sung not once but innumerable times when the next Olympics happen in London 2012.
Indian athletes cannot excel in international events not because of lack of talent but mostly because of lack of proper training, exposure and lack of funds. And it is these core problems that the program is aiming to address. Bringing together eminent sportspersons, businessmen, sports writers, coaches and talent hunters, the organisation is trying to bridge the gap between the athlete and the international aspirations.
There are many prominent athletes like Mary Kom,Saina Nehwal, Tejaswini Sawant and Gagan Narang who are already part of the program and taking advantage of the facilities provided by the organisation. It is a concentrated effort to give the sportspersons all they need so that they can bring the gold to India.
We as a country have always been proud of our intellect, our generosity, our diverse culture. Sports has always revolved around few names in cricket and more now in shooting, wrestling boxing, badminton and tennis. But change is happening and good news is coming from all corners of the country. A kid from Allahabad is winning a commonwealth bronze in gymnastics and three women from villages of India have managed to sweep all the medals in disc throw. These passionate individuals give hope that love for sports has finally spread across the nation. Schools and colleges no more think of sport as an extracurricular activity but a field that needs as much hard work and training to excel as does academics. Business men are eager to sponsor talent and international coaches are saying yes to coach Indians.
The Olympic Gold Quest is a mission started by people who believe in the strength of us Indians and our capability that we can win.
As Indian citizens it is time to support the cause, encourage sports activities and ensure that someday the kid playing gulli-danda, chor police or football in your neighbourhood will proudly display a medal around his neck and thank you for not shouting at him when he shattered your window glass.
Know more about the Olympic Gold Quest here.