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Need More Coaching Programmes In India: Mary Kom

BW Businessworld talks to Indian Olympic boxer Mary Kom about the rise of these sports and support for athletes.

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Non-cricket sports have been gaining popularity, and over the next couple of years, we might see these sports taking the lead, or sharing the space with cricket. BW Businessworld talked to Indian Olympic boxer Mary Kom about the rise of these sports and support for athletes.

Excerpts:

What do you think about the growth of non-cricket sports market in India?
When I started my career, there weren’t many facilities, and brands weren’t that aware about non-cricket sports. There was no commercial market for athletes. However, over the years Indian athletes have improved their performances and made a name for themselves on the global stage by winning medals at the Olympics, Commonwealth Games etc. and this has helped in getting recognition. Also, now the government is playing a key role in promotion and development of sports.

Now the private sector is also increasing support for the growth of non-cricket sports. Your views...
Gradually, India is becoming a sports-oriented nation and the focus is no longer purely on cricket. Even corporates are looking to leverage non-cricket athletes to promote their brands. Having said that I still feel that the corporate world can play a much bigger role in the overall development of non-cricket sports in India. We have already seen some companies supporting sports through their CSR initiatives, which is a good sign for sports in our country.

What areas should the Centre focus on to further support athletes?
In the past few years, the government has improved the infrastructure, training facilities, scientific support, etc. for athletes but I feel we need to have more coaching programmes in India to train our coaches and technical support staff so that they can improve their skills and expertise too. The state governments should also improve their infrastructure, and provide coaching supports at the grassroots level.


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