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Abhinav Bindra – Reaping the Demographic Dividend

Investment Outlook , Published Feb 17, 2019

Abhinav Bindra

Abhinav Bindra

Professional Shooter and Former World and Olympic champion.

Sporting champions of tomorrow can be created by focusing on the grassroots to tap the vast young talent pool

Overview

We definitely have demographics to our advantage, thanks to the large percentage of population below 25 years of age. Winning more gold medals at the Olympic level encompasses drawing a long-term sports vision and pursuing it relentlessly. It is about trial & error and about putting things into action, while challenges come knocking along the way.

Human potential and the existing young talent is our country’s greatest strength. We definitely have demographics to our advantage – thanks to the large percentage of population below 25 years of age. A careful nurturing of the lot could help India strike gold in the Olympics.

We are already moving ahead in the international shooting arena. The momentum now needs to be accelerated.

Research-orientation

High performance is a way of life, whether in sports or any other field. Building and maintaining a high performance culture requires careful design, monitoring and evaluation as well as constant improvement of programs and personnel. Everything in a modern day athlete’s career is rooted in STEAM.

In the recent past, sports science has been focused on strategic research. To be the best requires being at the edge of human potential and performance. And for that we have to get the right knowledge, infrastructure, cutting-edge science and technology in our programs to compete with the best.

More than money

Contrary to popular opinion, winning medals is not necessarily a direct function of government funding. While the Indian Government sponsors 95-98% of funding requirements for participating in Olympics, in the US, it’s different. Not a single dollar is spent by the US Government and most of the funding for its Olympic players is done through corporate sponsorships. India is likely to follow suit in this aspect.

More than money

Winning generously (more gold medals) at the Olympic level encompasses drawing a long-term (15-years or more) sports vision for the nation and pursuing it relentlessly. It is about trial & error and about putting things into action, while challenges come knocking along the way.

While you set the processes, you also don’t look for instant gratification. Putting the right systems in place brings an element of sustainability to carry forward a legacy of building champions. In the end, perseverance and belief in the program makes all the difference.

Olympic gold is the epitome of sporting success, the most romanticised platform for athletes to participate in global sports. It will bring me great pleasure if we manage to put up a double-digit figure in the gold category by Paris 2024.

Get to the Grassroots

Get to the Grassroots

In order to make waves at the global level, our initial efforts should focus on developing a sports culture in the country by focusing on the grassroots. That will enable us to create the sports champions of tomorrow.

In the end, success is a result of following a process with hard work and determination for a long period of time.

Youngsters increasingly should be encouraged to make sports an integral part of their lives. It will teach them life lessons; the value of being fair, while operating with integrity and honesty. Power of thought and immense societal value is what sports can offer. We become a sporting nation by stepping out to play.

Moreover, sport has immense societal value. It’s a unique profession that teaches an individual to take victory and loss in one’s own stride. From a societal point of view, it makes people build a strong character with its rub-off effects.

In the end, success is a result of following a process with hard work and determination for a long period of time. Only that will help athletes reach that elite level in sports. So the message to Indian athletes is to keep persevering. Olympics aren’t every four years, it is a culmination of everyday efforts.

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