Sports In Nepal Lagging Far Behind (Ankit Sitaula Writes)

gn3_2100420552It would be fair enough to say that development of sports in a particular country explains the development of country itself.

From US to China or other powerhouse in sports, they are certainly superpowers in the world.

Let us not go too far, let’s take an example of our neighbors, India and China.

China is already a dominant force in sports as well as in other aspects of society whereas India’s investment in sports for the fast and rapid development cannot be chased easily. And, here we stand – NEPAL, between the two powerhouses but still struggles to qualify for Olympics.

We have completely failed to use two neighbors in our favor. The only time our government remembers about sports is when we are going to organize some big tournaments. Why are we lacking behind when we have so much of potential in our players? All the foreign coaches who come to Nepal to coach say that our players have huge potential. But, why are we still not progressing?

Here are some points I want to discuss about:

* Political Leaders: In a country like ours, sports is taken as a second priority. In the context of Advancement, Technology, HDI, Literacy, per-capita etc, we can’t match to any advanced Asian countries ? It’s a worrying point. How can we expect our sports to develop? Our leaders are busy in blaming each other for this and that, our whole system is totally corrupt. Even a simple construction work needs politics go-go. And, in such a hostile environment, development of sports is out of imagine.

* Infrastructure: Guess the numbers of proper stadiums in our country at present which can host some good tournaments. There aren’t such stadiums that can host international events. You might be amazed. I won’t list Dasarath Rangashala here. Have you seen its current condition? It is in pathetic condition. How can we expect something good to happen if we cannot even renovate the single stadium in the country? Everybody including political parties and different companies only remember it when they need to organize some big programs.

If this is the scenario of Kathmandu, what about other cities? They even don’t have proper tracks for athletes to run, proper court to play. Its heart breaking. And, without proper infrastructure, it is impossible to develop Nepalese sports.

* Budget: Have you ever wondered what percent of the total budget of country goes for Sports? The total budget of 2014/15 fiscal year was 819 Billion NRs and out of it, only 2.5 billion was for sports. Isn’t that shocking? That is not even 0.01% of the total budget. Budget is too less for the sports.

* Coaches and Technology:  To be fair, we have completely failed to produce quality coaches for our players. Neither we have tried to send our available coaches abroad to improve their quality nor we have motivated them for better training at home. This is a huge set back in development of sports. And, talking about technology, we live in 21st century. All the devices essential today in sports like GPS tracking and other systems are the gifts of today’s technology. Are we using them here in Nepalese sports? No, not at all. It feels like we are still in 19th century without using any modern devices.

*  Tournaments: Can you expect players to improve if they don’t get enough tournament exposure? Not enough tournaments means no competition among the players. The National Sporting Event, which was to be held in every two years, hasn’t been organized since 2010. It was to be organized this year but was again delayed due to lack of resources. Such a shame. Now NSC has finally finalized the date (Mangsir 8, 2073), which is still in limbo.

* Prize and Salary: Why would someone think of making a career in sports if there is no security of life. Passion only cannot help a player to survive, you need good sum of money as well. But here, salary is a dream except in some disciplines and prize money is very less.

Ankit Sitaula
Biratnagar, Nepal

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