Bulk of urban youths averse to sports as career choice

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New Delhi, Nov 25: Unlike a majority of urban youths which are reluctant to tap sports for career opportunities, a good chunk of rural and tribal youngsters have witnessed the sports as a lucrative career, an industry body Assocham has said.

A meager 31 per cent urban youths from Delhi, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu are responsive to sports and maximum of them prefer to join high-earning games like cricket, tennis, hockey and shooting, a study based on a survey on 'Sports : A Career Path for Young India', brought out by Assocham said.

The other factors for this scenario is that corporates have been totally lukewarm for extending sponsorships for games like hockey, football, athletics, boxing, weightlifting, as a result they have not gained much recognition in India. The scheme known as Sports Authority of India (SAI) - National Sports Talent Contest (NSTC) Scheme has also virtually proved to be a non-starter for the youths.

Urban youths from states like Karnataka, Andhra, Rajasthan, MP, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Goa have also not shown their keenness to tap sports for career opportunities. ''The huge amount of money garnered by corporate and states on the cricket players after winning of 20-20 World Cup by Indian cricket team has again reposed youth's direction towards cricket despite Indian Hockey and Football team's winning Asia and Nehru Cup recently,'' Assocham President Venugopal N Dhoot said.

Mr Dhoot added subsequently, its becoming very difficult situation for games like hockey, football, boxing, badminton, shooting, golf, athletics and weightlifting, swimming to search talented of young boys and girls from large metros and towns.

Sixty five per cent of youths from listed states were successfully lured by the emerging sectors like FMCG, finance, retail, IT, BPO, aviation, hospitality and many more and providing them higher salary and incentives without facing hassles, constraints compared to sports. Even the students and freshers are earning good wages at the entry level in these sectors.

The study, however, revealed that over 72 per cent rural and tribal youths from states like Orissa, Punjab, Chattisgarh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Kerala, Goa, North-Eastern States and Uttarakhand have looked on the sports as a well-paid career as most of them get jobs in railways, state government departments, PSUs, corporate houses etc.

Hockey, football, archery, shooting, boxing, weightlifting are among their first choice compared to cricket for rural and tribal youths, the study further said.


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