We had barely recovered from India’s sensational World Cup victory, when the IPL began in its entire splendor accentuating the cricket-charged fever that had gripped the nation for the past few months. And now with India having its own F1 track in the form of the Buddh International Circuit in Noida, motorsport is all set to come up in a big way too. When it comes to sports in India however, the predominant chunk of the population is content at being spectators. But GenNext, as always, has other plans. Today, many are considering a career in sports as players, managers, coaches, physiotherapists, and reporters – the list is endless.
You don’t have to be a player to be involved in India’s sports scene. Of course, if you’ve been one of those sporty kinds since childhood, harbouring dreams of being in India’s national cricket, hockey, or football team, then go ahead and follow your passion. But do add a dash of practicality to those dreams. Remember that the road to glory is a rocky one. Especially if you consider a sport like cricket; every child born in India at some time or the other envisions himself padding up and representing the national side. Few carry this dream to adulthood; fewer still actually end up making it. And the few who do must be super consistent or perish. This isn’t meant to dissuade anyone considering a career as a sportsperson. It’s just a bit of a heads-up.
Well, that’s it for the ‘playing’ part of sport – the limelight bit. There’s a lot of ‘behind the scenes’ work too that requires talented orchestrators to run the whole show. You can be a sports writer, manager, physiotherapist (who take home phenomenal pay cheques), public relations executive, media coordinator, or anchor. Your passion for sport can be fulfilled by myriad career options, all within the realm of sport. Says Yash Sawant, a sports writer for DNA newspaper, “Someone with decent language skills and passion for a sport, any sport, can make a great career in sports writing – be it cricket, tennis, hockey, or any sport for that matter. In terms of pay levels, it’s quite low at the beginning of your career but when you rise to sports editor for a newspaper or magazine, the pay is good. ” Yash covers all the domestic sporting activities for DNA in Mumbai. He does agree though that if one is looking to get into the sports management side of things, then cricket is where all the money is at, especially with the advent of the IPL.
New on the block
Sports management is a relatively new field in India. In a nutshell, sports managers act like agents for sportspersons. They provide guidance with regard to tournaments and even endorsements, assisting in getting sports personalities the best deals to enhance their sporting careers. Such managers may be employed by a player independently or by the entire team. In India, sports management as a career is still in its nascent stages, with only a few universities offering courses for it. If one is genuinely interested in a career in such a field and willing to spend money on quality education, then there are a number of institutes in India and abroad that offer this course. Moreover, such professionals will always be in demand. Cricket aside, the state of oft neglected sports in India like hockey, football, boxing, and tennis indicate that there’s an urgent need for a cohesive managing body in India. It’s a good time to be armed with a professional qualification in sports.
Tried and tested
If you are at the crossroads of deciding which stream to take up for your future career, then keep sports in mind. Essentially, even if you opt for arts, science, or commerce, you’ll be able to make a career in sports no matter your background. An arts student who has done psychology can become a sports psychologist. Sports involve immense stress, which in many instances can have a detrimental effect on the sportsperson’s performance. A sports psychologist worth his salt plays a big role in ensuring that his client always remains in an optimum, positive mental state. This goes a long way in improving performance. A commerce or BMS graduate can try his or her hand in the management side of things. Fitness buffs can put their skills to use as coaches or training instructors. This will generally require a medical background and a degree in physiotherapy. For media and communication graduates, there are options in reporting and anchoring; and it’s never too late either.
Abhideep Das, 26, was working as a human resources executive a few years ago. However, the monotony of his job got the better of him. He decided to do some soul-searching and realized that he had two passions: cricket and writing. He enrolled for a postgraduate programme in journalism, and is now a correspondent with www.espnstar.com. Abhideep reports on all the cricketing activities around the country, and recently covered the World Cup and IPL tournaments.
So you may be no Tendulkar, Pillai, or Bhutia, but if you’ve got a good head on your shoulders, a passion for sport, lots of common sense, and are willing to go the whole nine yards to make a decent career in the field, then go ahead. The options are plenty. And if you can cough up some dough for quality education, many institutes abroad will help steer your career in the desired direction. If you would still rather do something else, there’s always that giant screen at the nearby lounge to get your sporting fix.
- ALAGAPPA UNIVERSITY, KARAIKUDI, TAMIL NADU
- INDIRA GANDHI INSTITUTE OF PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND SPORTS SCIENCE, NEW DELHI.
Volume 1 Issue 1