Sports

Bengal Olympic body can help revive sporting ethos

Saba Nayakan Kolkata | Updated on March 12, 2018

All smiles: A file photo of Commonwealth Games' medalwinners from Bengal during a felicitation ceremony in Kolkata.

The BOA has decided to celebrate the National Sports Day on August 29 in a grand manner.

Bengal had made giant strides in sporting activities even before Independence, and was, in a way, synonymous with sporting excellence.

But, today, many States have overtaken Bengal . While Bengal has lived in the glory of its past achievements, other States have progressed much to the chagrin of many old-timers who had witnessed the golden era of Bengal sport.

To revive the sporting ethos of Bengal , the Bengal Olympic Association (BOA) has decided to celebrate the National Sports Day on August 29 in a grand manner. Having a complete sway over the 40-odd State associations who run sport in Bengal, the BOA is the right platform to do so .

The current dispensation at the BOA can perhaps start its work on this auspicious day. Instead of confining the celebrations for a day, the State Olympic body may consider including more activities to showcase on multiple days that will inspire the youth to take up sport actively.

For the success of sport in Bengal, many factors need to be taken into account. The major stakeholders, such as the State Government, State associations and corporate sector and the media are to be brought under one umbrella. Only a coordinated effort would fetch the desired results. It is indeed the responsibility of the BOA to get all the stakeholders together with an effective plan .

Many States have their own programmes to recognise the outstanding work done by their sportspersons. This is one key area where Bengal has been lagging .

Though the State government has its own mechanism to recognise sportspersons and reward them, many a time the system used for selection has smacked of nepotism. This is where the BOA can be a credible option.

The State government can leave the task of identifying the right candidates to the BOA. The latter can form a panel of eminent and knowledgeable people to choose the right sportspersons.

In the event of the State government showing lack of keenness in getting involved in such an initiative, the BOA can organise the awards function on its own by involving all the stakeholders and choosing the award winners without prejudice. Sport in Bengal will stand to gain a lot in the years to come if it is done.

sabanayakan.s@thehindu.co.in

Published on August 25, 2013

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