Department of Sport

The History of Sport

The history of sports may extend as far back as the beginnings of military training, with competition used as a mean to determine whether individuals were fit and useful for service.[citation needed] Team sports may[original research?] have developed to train and to prove the capability to fight and also to work together as a team (military unit). The physical activity that developed into sports had early links with ritual, warfare and entertainment. Study of the history of sport can teach lessons about social changes and about the nature of sport itself, as sport seems involved in the development of basic human skills[citation needed] - compare play. As one delves further back in history, dwindling evidence makes theories of the origins and purposes of sport more and more difficult to support. India is home to a diverse population playing many different kinds of sports across the country. Cricket is the most popular sport in India. Field hockey is the most successful sport for India at Olympics in which India has won eight Olympic gold medals. Kabaddi is the most popular indigenous sport in the country. Other popular sports in India are badminton, football, basketball, chess, shooting, wrestling, boxing, tennis, squash, weightlifting, gymnastics, athletics and table tennis. Some indigenous sports are also popular in India such as Kho-kho, Kabaddi, Fighter kite, Polo and Gillidanda among others. There are some popular sports which has originated in India such as Chess, Snooker and Kabbadi. India has won Olympic medals in Badminton, Wrestling, Shooting, Weightlifting, Boxing and Tennis. India has also won World Cups in Cricket, Field Hockey and Kabbadi. India has hosted and co-hosted several international sporting events including the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the 1951 and 1982 Asian Games, the 1987, 1995 and 2016 South Asian Games, the 1987, 1996, 2011 Cricket World Cup and 2016 ICC World Twenty20, the 2003 Afro-Asian Games, the 1989, 2013 and 2017 Asian Athletics Championships, the 1982 and 2010 Men's Field hockey World Cup, 2016–17 Men's FIH Hockey World League, the 1979, 1987, 1991, 2003, 2010, 2013 and 2017 Asian Wrestling Championships, the 2009 BWF World Championships, the 2004, 2007 and 2016 Kabaddi World Cup (Standard style), the 1980,1992 and 2009 Asian Table Tennis Championships, the 1981 ABC Championship, the 2009 FIBA Asia Championship for Women, the 1989, 2005, 2013 and 2017 Asian Cycling Championships. India has recently hosted the 2017 FIBA Women's Asia Cup, the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, the 2017 ISSF World Cup and will host the 2018 Men's Hockey World Cup. India has some premier domestic leagues in different sports which are very popular in the country. Indian Premier League (IPL) is a premier Twenty20 & the most popular cricket league in the world held every year since 2008. The I-League and Indian Super League are premier football league tournaments held since 2007 and 2014 respectively, the Pro Kabaddi league is the most popular indigenous league in the country held since 2014, the Hockey India League is the premier hockey league held since 2013, the Premier Badminton League is the badminton premier league held since 2013, the Pro Wrestling League premier Wrestling league held since 2015 and Ultimate Table Tennis league held since 2017. Major international sporting events annually held in India include the Chennai Open in tennis, the Indian Masters in golf, the India Open since 2008 and Royal Indian Open since 2001 in badminton. From 2011 to 2013, India hosted the Indian Grand Prix Formula 1 race at the Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida. The National Games of India is a national domestic sports event which has been held in the country since 1924 and for developing multi-sports culture in India Khelo India School Games, an event for under-17 school kids, had been started from 2018 as its first edition.



Before independence

The geography of sports in India dates back to the Vedic era. Physical culture in ancient India was fuelled by religious rights. The mantra in the Atharvaveda, says, "Duty is in my right hand and the fruits of victory in my left." In terms of an ideal, these words hold the same sentiments as the traditional Olympic Oath: "For the Honour of my Country and the Glory of Sport." Badminton probably originated in India as a grownup's version of a very old children's game known in England as battledore and shuttlecock, the battledore being a paddle and the shuttlecock a small feathered cork, now usually called a "bird." Games like chess (chaturanga), Snooker snakes and ladders, playing cards, originated in India, and it was from here that these games were transmitted to foreign countries, where they were further modernised.



After independence

India hosted the Asian Games in New Delhi in 1951 and 1982. The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports was initially set up as the Department of Sports in 1982 at the time of organisation of the IX Asian Games in New Delhi. Its name was changed to the Department of Youth Affairs & Sports during celebration of the International Youth Year in 1985. India has also hosted or co-hosted several international sporting events, including the 1987 and 1996 Cricket World Cup, the 2003 Afro-Asian Games, the 2010 Hockey World Cup, and the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Major international sporting events annually held in India include the Chennai Open, Mumbai Marathon, Delhi Half Marathon, and the Indian Masters. The country co-hosted the 1987, 1996, 2011 Cricket World Cup and the first Indian Grand Prix in 2011.



Olympics

The Indian Hockey team at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, later going on to defeat Germany 8–1 in the final. A single athlete, Norman Pritchard, represented India in the 1900 Olympics, winning two silver medals. India sent its first national team to the Olympics in 1920, and has participated in every Summer Olympic Games ever since. India has also competed at several Winter Olympic Games since 1964. India has won a total of 26 Olympic medals. India won its first gold medal in men's field hockey in the 1928 Olympic Games. Abhinav Bindra became the first Indian to win an individual gold medal at the Olympic Games, and India's first gold medal since 1980, when the men's field hockey team won the gold. India has won very few Olympic medals, despite a population exceeding one billion, around half of them under the age of 25. Numerous explanations have been offered for the dearth, including poverty, malnutrition, neglected infrastructure, the lack of sponsorship, the theft of money and equipment, political corruption, institutional disorganisation, social immobility, the predominance of cricket, and other cultural factors. According to several informal statistics, India is the country with the lowest number of total Olympic medals per capita (out of those countries which have won at least one medal). In the Winter Olympic Games, India has seen four consecutive representations–Nagano (Japan, 1998), Salt Lake City (Utah, USA, 2002), Turin (Italy, 2006), and Vancouver (British Columbia, Canada, 2010). Shiva Keshavan, Asian Champion in luge represented India in all four winter games.





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