As the old adage goes Change is consistent and inevitable, it has always been a challenge for human race to use this change in the best possible way to avoid the negative aspects it brings along and cherish the goodies received.
Over the last 20-25 years we have seen a sea change in society. This has been due to many reasons, mainly of them I would attribute to industrial development & technological advances.
As a kid in late 80’s and early 90’s I remember how passionate we were for sports. We would make a perfect pitch out of barren plot of a land just by our enthusiasm for sports and when this plot was on the verge of construction we moved to another venue as our stadium, as our club so much so that it made our skills better in tackling different ground conditions every 2-3 months, just as a batsman is complete when he can handle all swing, bounce and spin. While it is also a fact that our generation was deprived of these media advancements where they teach you technicalities of sports so very closely, in that sense we were raw.
Talking about media, we also were not the generation to be able to know what Manchester United is all about. The limited media coverage meant fewer heros for us to emulate like Sunil Gavaskar, Prakash Padukone etc. and as a natural corollary, fewer sports to follow as well.
Another aspect which allowed us kids to be freely enjoying sports was the fact that our parents had to care far less about our security than now.
At the same time I believe, we concentrated so much on sports that time because that was the only method of enjoyment, when we didn’t had the gaming consoles or FB’s to give our time .
And now when we look at the milieu today to which kids are exposed to, it’s quite a turnaround.
There are no more vacant spaces/plots left for kids to make their sports field. Today kids instead go to more formal set up of academy if they have any interest and if their parents allow them because it costs you. So with the cost factor a lot of kids don’t attend these academies, thus decreasing probability of unearthing a potential sportsperson. At the same time academies have their benefit as well. They teach the kids nitty-gritty of a particular sport right from the beginning and thus they are not unpolished as our generation was.
This generation is bread upon knowing Sebatian Vettels , wearing Lionell Messi T-shirts and following Rafael Nadals and thus we see today we are getting upcoming talent in many sports than what it was earlier; we have Yuki Bhambris, Tarun Chandoks and Gaganjeet Bhullars. Sadly, despite of all these benefits due to media we are also falling prey to market oriented media coverage where Man-U is followed but any sport with lesser glamour and money with it doesn’t find any favour and is struggling for survival, i.e., hockey, Indian football etc.
Our society has changed and unfortunately we see a burgeoning rate of crime. Today parents constantly worry about kid’s safety which is seriously limiting the kid’s time with sports which is vital at such age for all round growth.
Talking about technological advances, in today’s world where laptop is stale gadget and I-Pad is in thing, gaming consoles and Facebook, Twitter are the talking points; this has certainly eaten up a fare share of kid’s time from what otherwise could have been allocated to physical activity including games and sports. Detailing onto the adverse effects of excessive video gaming etc. would perhaps become a far stretched agenda.
With all the above written, it becomes a moot point: what is good? how much is enough? We do want kids to know nuances of sports they follow to become the greats of the game. We do want our kids to embrace different sports. We also want our kids to know Internet. Somewhere we need to find the balance, more importantly as a lesson for all walks of life. After all sports can be the best tool to maintain the physical strength of our kids as well as youths……………….the future of nation……..future of Strong India