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Understanding the Role of Sports in Nation Development

Discuss About The Strategy To Strengthen Sport From Grassroots.

To understand the role of sports in the development of any nation, we have to understand what sports are. Sports are defined in the Oxford Dictionary as such activities, which attract physical exertion with inherent or trained skills; through which an individual or a team of individuals use to compete against others for entertainment to prove their supremacy.  This term sports are also governed by several ethical guidelines which are known as rules. (University)

There are different reasons for any nation to make sports strategy. In present global scenario, sports are considered as one of the basic prides of the nation. Moreover, sports are contributing to the GDP of any nation. Specialization on the excellence of sports attracts different level of funds from the corporate. As per report of United Nations Inter Agency Task Force on Sport for development and peace, different areas are identified for the purpose of excellence in sport for any nation. UN has fixed Millennium Development Goals or MDG for the nations in the area of sports with the purpose to management the nation understand the importance of sports along with its role to build a nation. The direct contribution of sports to the nation is to make the nation disciplined with the added qualities of learning skills, excel confidence, promotion of leadership and the building of strong national character of tolerance, cooperation and mutual respect.  Sports are instrumental to contribute to the nation by adding value in the fields of sustainable human, social and economic development in micro level; with the macro level contribution of global peace, human health and escalation of human right of the community. (Nations, 2003)


The above discussion amply puts light on the importance of sports for the nation. A nation should adopt proper strategy in order to perform satisfactorily in the sports arena of global scenario. The adoption of proper national sports strategy will help the nation to excel in the specific type of sports and thus can emerge the feeling of national identity and pride within the community of the nation. The need of proper strategy should be highlighted with the objective of selection of Key Performance Indicator by deriving the strength, weakness, opportunities and threat analysis of the nation. Hence a good strategy can only be formed in national level by prioritizing the fields of sports, which can have the scope of excellence for the nation. As sports are marked as the identity of the nation, a good strategy can make the nation rich with its global performance and acknowledgment of the same through global recognition.

Importance of a National Sports Strategy

Identification of the target groups for sports can be derived from different segment of people of the nation with interest in sports. Main objective of any nation is to engage the entire population in sports, ideally. To ensure identification of the target groups, the nation has to identify who are directly or indirectly involve in the sports activities. There are participators, the followers and spectators and the volunteers, in nut shell, who are identified as the target groups related to sports. Then the divisions of target groups are made with the factors of ages, institutions and genders.

The participators are the key target groups for this activity. The participators take part in the sporting events which gives entertainment for the spectators. The participators pass through different level of training to enhance their skills with the effective knowledge sharing of ethical practice of sports. The participators are divided in different age groups and genders as per the demand of the sporting events. Any nation wishes to groom the aspirant participators from the childhood enabling them to cope up with the training programs with set objectives of their sporting career. The parameter fixed for the participators are well defined and the objectives are also well set in advance which can be modified as per the changed scenario of the sporting events. Hence the target groups related to participation is identified by the specific age group and gender. The training process is taken place for the target groups to enhance their skills by the professional trainers. As participators are the main factors for sporting activities, they are the basic or key groups of target for any sporting events. The other groups assisting them to accomplish their objectives are the secondary target groups for sporting activities.


As per John Whittingdale, MP, OBE Secretary of State- Department for Culture, media and Sports of UK, the theme of participation in sports is defined with the objective of providing the feeling to everyone that sports is for them irrespective of their status of athleticism as experienced or beginner. Although the main objective of participation in sports is to feel the thrill of competition with the accomplishment of winning, the only scope of participation is also encouraged by providing the chance to participate for one and all. (Department of Culture, 2015)

The spectators are the next target groups for any sporting activities. It is often observed that the spectators are not inclined to any specific sporting event, in general. One spectator may have interests in different sports, which can provide the expected level of mental entertainment or accomplishment of national pride for the individual. The spectators may form a group named supporters for a specific community, who can have the earnest desire for observing the coveted level of achievement of the team for which they watch the sporting event.

Target Groups for Sports

The volunteers are key target groups who can ensure systematic procedure to conduct the sporting event with the objective of accomplishment of goals for the participators. They may be in the forms of judges or referees, the group of people who can ensure proper and systematic procedure of the sporting event from start till end, or the people who are attached to the event on regular basis as a continuous process to ensure regular follow up and provision of necessary guidance to excel performance in the events. They are in the class of statisticians, sports medicine professionals and the coaches related to specific sporting event. As per Nick Boles, MP and Minister for Skills Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Department of Education UK, skills related to coaching, workforce and good governance are basic driver towards balanced growth strategy along with globally acclaimed apprenticeship as main motivator for Government’s skill strategy. These facilities can enhance the scope of the young generation to accomplish their objective by reaching their ability to deliver the expected level of skills the employers and the industry look for growth. This facility was extended during the last Parliament period to 2.3 million apprenticeships with the objective of extending the same facility to 3 million empowered by comprehensive growth plan followed by engagement with more work of large employers, and promoting support to the SMEs with renewed importance on communication. With this extended service to the population, sports industry is also one of the beneficiaries with the application of latest technological involvement in the field of sports skills. (Department of Culture, 2015)


Amongst the above, the participators can be included through proper selection process as per the requirement of the sporting event specification. The selection of spectators can be done through proper creation of encouragement related to any specific sporting event. The volunteers are present in the sporting system of any nation and they can be included as per the requirement of the nation with specification of objective fixed by the nation.

It is obvious for implementation of new strategy to fund it- be it the nation or the corporate. The main objective of funding is to ensure the coveted or anticipated return. For this purpose, identification of objective is prime necessity. For any new sports strategy for the nation, scope of two basic resources is there. One is public sector or government and the other is private sector or corporate.  All strategies are term-specific- short-term, middle-term or long-term and national sports strategies are no exception to this concept.

Participation in Sports

To fund any national sports strategy through public sector is to ensure its return for the development of the nation. It may not be identified with the significance of monetary return. The public sector funding can be well assessed with the coveted result the strategy had focused. Normally, irrespective of the duration of the strategy, the nation opts for public sector funding when the outcome presumed to be applicable by enhancing national pride.

Private sector funding comes through the mode of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program for national sports strategy, in general. Private sector funding always looks for return in monetary form- either in the form of tax benefit or in the form of direct return of the funding through nursing Return on Investment (ROI).  Tax benefit can be identified easily while ROI is not easy to be determined in case of funding for national sports strategy.

It is not possible for the nation to fund sports strategy fully. Hence proper identification of sports strategies is to be determined to fund it through public or private sector. To identify the fund providers for implementation of national sports strategy, a good analysis is to be made to derive the result providing strategy as per specific time frame. For short-term sports strategies, private sector can be approached; while for long- term sports strategies, public sector may be opted ensuring that the public sector should have the ability to provide fund for this purpose for the stipulated time period.

The diagram, as projected in Sports England: Towards and Active Nation- 2016-2021 to justify the investment plan for sports strategy of UK is given below to understand the concept:


It is really tough to ensure increasing engagement in sporting activities. There are only few delivery models which can ensure proven track record of return and that can be welcomed by the fund providers with confidence. For further enhancement of this scope of fund raising, provision of proper and proven supply chain management is to be done with reliance. The required level of expectation from the strategy can only be ensured through different innovative projects. Hence the lessons from different organizations like Wellcome Trust can help the nation of UK to derive the successful strategies which can deliver 80% of the investment, with the risk management of balance 20% to promote new ideas. It is assumed that all these new ideas cannot be successful, but the same can be able to produce solutions which can be able to deliver expected results. (UK, 2016)

A strategy for any field is derived from the objective of the issue. National sports strategies are no exception to this concept. It is often found that lack of proper identification of objective can lead to failure of strategy. Hence the objective set should be clearly identified with the criterion of its accomplishment.

For any national sports strategy, identification of objective is to be done with specific sporting events considering the ability of human resources available within the nation for this purpose. It is often found that human resources of any nation may not be compatible to the coveted sports strategy due to its physical or mental setup. Hence, strategy should be fixed with logical and justifiable attitude to ensure its accomplishment for the said objective. (Beech & Chadwick, 2013)

For monitoring a sports strategy, specific time frame is to be fixed to assess its success for any nation. Proper implementation of strategy with specific result oriented objective should be successful provided proper infrastructural support is provided for the stakeholders. For this purpose, the government has to fix proper targeted benchmark with the time frame and should monitor the sporting activity to ensure its success so far implementation is concerned

References:

Beech, J., & Chadwick, S. (2013). The Business of Sport Management (2nd ed.). Essex, England: Pearson Education Ltd.

Department for Digital, c. m. (2015). New strategy to strengthen sport from the grassroots to the elite. Government of UK.

Department of Culture, M. a. (2015). A New Strategy for Sport:Consultation Paper. Government of UK.

Nations, U. (2003). Report from the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Sports for Development and peace. United nations.

UK, G. o. (2016). Sport England: Toward an Active Nation- Strategy 2016-2021. Deaprtment of Sports, Tourism and Heritage. Sports England.

University, O. (n.d.). British and World English. (O. University, Producer) accounting 04 17, 2018, from English Oxford Living Dictionaries: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/sport

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