Accolades continue to pour on P.V. Sindhu, Sakshi Malik and Dipa Karmakar, thanks to their extraordinary performances at the recently-concluded Rio Olympics. Sindhu received cash awards amounting to Rs 13 crore.
The trio along with badminton coach Pullela Gopichand were gifted BMW cars by Sachin Tendulkar at a felicitation ceremony at Hyderabad. Looking at the prizes the Olympic winners have received, has it become a motivational factor for many to take up sports as a career?
Mumbai Ranji Trophy player and an MBA student from the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad, Kshemal Waingankar, says, “The overall interest in sports has definitely spiked post-Olympics. At ISB, more and more students are taking part in sports. Badminton, especially, is now the favourite of many.”
People are more open to taking up sports as a career choice, since it also pays well.
“Not just badminton and cricket, but basketball, gymnastics, football and baseball too are being opted by the students. At ISB, students are also taught about the business aspects of sports. What many don’t know is that apart from playing, there are many other career options in the sports industry,” adds Waingankar, who has been a part of the IPL team, Kolkata Knight Riders.
The number of people enquiring about admissions at sports academies has increased drastically, which proves people’s sudden interest in sports.
Mohammed Maqdoom, sports analyst at the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy, says, “We’ve been receiving 80-100 calls per day after the Olympics as compared to 20 calls per day earlier.”
Colleges in the city have also been taking up sports more seriously. Syed Farooq Kamal, Head of the Department for physical education at the St. Francis College for Women says the college has made several changes in their sports department.
“After the Olympics, we decided that International players at the college will be qualified even with zero per cent attendance,” he says, adding that post-Olympics, 900 students from the college came together to form a sports club.
Sai Baba, who runs a sports coaching foundation that trains more than 50,000 children throughout the country, agrees that many are more interested in sports, especially badminton. Many children from government schools and orphanages are being trained at the organisation....