Yet another edition of Olympics has come and gone. And for India, this year's story is as familiar as a 90s Hindi movie plot. We have found our heroes (or heroines, rather?) in Sakshi, Sindhu & Dipa. These girls have made history. While the rest have become well, history. With due credit to these champion girls everybody acknowledges that as a country of 1.2 bn people, we do deserve to win more. Deserve is a very polite term. It's high time we started winning some serious medals. And while there are several suggestions coming from all corners on 'what' to do, as a Sales professional, I want to share my thoughts on 'how' to go about it.
I strongly believe that the key to a good execution is working with a goal & a deadline in mind - something that our govt is doing today. The goal that I propose is "Hosting the 2028 Olympics in India." India won its 1st Olympic Gold Medal in 1928 (Hockey) and it will be a matter of great pride for the nation if we celebrate the occasion by bringing the Olympics to the country exactly 100 years after the proud achievement.
1) Firstly, we need to develop 'Sports Cities' on the lines of our PM's 'Smart Cities' initiative. I propose 4 cities to be identified - one in each region - North, South, East & West. These cities should NOT be Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata or Bengaluru. They're saturated enough already.
2) These cities should be developed keeping the Olympics 2028 in mind. With due support from the Centre, the respective states have to take up the responsibility of developing State of the art stadiums, courts and grounds, gymnasiums, physiotherapy institutes, training academies, gardens, yoga centers, hotels & recreation parks in these cities. The Sports Ministry has to ensure Olympic standards in the infra.
3) Since health & fitness of the athletes is paramount, the food, water & air in these cities should be governed by strict quality control measures. The Environment & Food Ministries can play a vital role in ensuring a pollution free, contamination free environment.
4) Sportsmen and athletes from each zone can enrol with the facilities of the respective city. For instance, if Hyderabad is to be made the Sports City of South, then a long jump aspirant from Kerala can access the facilities there and develop herself. The Govt can organize Quarterly Talent hunts in sponsorship with private companies and also give it ample media coverage. This will help us discover hidden talents in the country.
5) The development of these cities can be done on the PPP model. Since so many sports talents from across the country would come under one roof, it will automatically generate huge interest among all the major sports brands and related companies. And the subsequent investment will be enough to trigger a Sports Revolution of sorts in the country.
6) In addition to good sporting talent, these cities will also give us physiotherapists, doctors, yoga practitioners, coaches, game analysts. They are as important as athletes in any sport.
7) Immigration of foreign talent should be encouraged in these cities. Since so many countries in the world do not have good sporting facilities they will express interest in moving here. Rubbing shoulders with them will help us develop ourselves in sports which do not come naturally to us.
8) Global Olympic superstars have to be invited periodically to these cities to give our sportspersons a pep talk. These superstars will then get to witness our facilities. Their endorsements will be critical to help us bid for the Olympics.
9) There has to be a periodic review of the progress in these cities and a ranking has to be done to encourage a healthy competition between them. The winning city has to be rewarded in the form of additional grants which will be funneled back into sports development.
10) The city that shows the most satisfactory progress should be finally chosen for the Olympics.
Thus by taking a simple but ambitious.
goal of hosting the Olympics in 2028, we are not only creating an environment where the sporting talent can thrive but also announcing our arrival on the global stage. 12 years to go.
Even if we don't end up hosting the Games, we would have done enough to win more medals in one year than we did in an entire century. I'm keen to hear more suggestions from you guys.