“Sundays with Purav” is a 11 part series in collaboration with our very own, Purav Raja. Through his first hand experience of competing on the ATP Tour, Purav aims to educate Indian tennis parents, fans, and community, in general, about what our country needs to do to be called a sporting nation

Today, I want to bring to light the taboo topic of a national sports centre. If we are training for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics or Paris 2024, why don’t we build facilities similar to Tokyo or Paris for all our athletes to perform at the highest level come the time.

Not only will this money be well spent on much needed infrastructure in India, but it will motivate each athlete to perform to their highest level and get unbelievable complimentary training too. Competition builds success.

This is happening in small pockets of our nation through various schemes and programs, but I would love to see all the 300 probables for Tokyo 2020 train under one roof, with the best coaches, both of whom have a medal and cash incentive to WIN.

We expect to lose in everything apart from Cricket, and maybe Badminton, and that’s what we do. Sport is not luck people – it’s a science. We go in with the belief to participate in the Olympics rather than to win a medal. “He or she is an Olympian” becomes a national selling point while in The United States, they only celebrate the medal winners at these games. We come away with 100 odd competitors, while they come away with 100 odd medals.

We are happy to just play and qualify for our respective events in all these games rather than having a real goal, which is performing to a world class level and potentially winning several medals. Do you really think people of the India refer to MS Dhoni as an eight time World Cup competitor? On the contrary, they refer to him as a World Cup winning captain. So why can’t we do the same in other sports. Aim for the sky and you might just reach the top of the tree.

I am going to end with a pessimistic point that I was hoping for 20 medals in Tokyo 2020 just after Rio. But right now, after three years of nothing special – our nation India should be happy with Any ONE piece of metal in the next Olympics. Having our flag hoisted in Japan even once would be a slice of pure luck and hearing the national anthem in the middle of Tokyo – umm a merely unthinkable miracle.

Impossible is nothing!

Thank you,
Purav Raja

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