Need for educated sports professionals in India

Sports has come a long way to be what it is in its modern avatar – from being played as a game in a social setting to becoming organized and semi-professional to now, in its present form, as highly professional at the highest level.

It is this professional nature of modern-day sports which has led to the exponential growth of many allied sectors within sports and the demand for skilled professionals, so much so that sports has become an industry in itself. India has been a slow-starter in this regard but it is taking big steps towards becoming a force to reckon with.

The market size of sports being played in India drastically increased after the launch of the cash rich Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008, followed by a plethora of world class sports leagues like the Pro Kabaddi, Indian Super League and many other leagues in various sports.

Today, the sport industry contributes to 0.1% share of India’s GDP. Globally, the sport industry contributes around 0.5% of GDP. The government, with its various initiatives like the Khelo India Program, TOPS scheme for Olympic bound athletes and by developing, updating sports infrastructure has provided a major boost to the sports industry in India.

Many corporates like Reliance, JSW, Tata etc. to name a few, have invested hugely to develop sports from grassroots levels. With an aim to achieve Olympic glory, many NGOs have started funding upcoming talent and have devised various performance driven programs for promising athletes. Sports is surely looked at as a full time profession now as regards to the recreational perspective it had earlier.

As a result, sports, overall, is professionalising and the need for specialists and experts is on the rise. When it comes to management of sports there is a need for managers who have knowledge and understanding of the nature of sports business to be able to successfully manage and add value to all the stakeholders.

Moreover, there are some fields which are specific to sports, for example, athlete/player management. Athlete managers look after every professional, and some personal, aspects of an athlete – gaining sponsorships/endorsements, handling contracts with various stakeholders, making professional and personal travel arrangements and managing finances, to name a few.

Apart from player management there are other allied sectors which can benefit greatly with the services of sports management graduates such as stadium facility and event management, media and broadcasting services and public relations. Another emerging field in India is Sports Law. There is a growing requirement of law graduates with knowledge of and exposure to legal matters concerning sports. Lawyers who specialise in sport-related matters are forecast to be in demand in the coming years.

Not only is there a need for specialists and experts in the managerial sphere but also in the technical areas of sports. With the advent and proliferation of professional leagues there has been a surge in demand for nutritionists, physiotherapists, doctors, bio-mechanists, strength and conditioning coaches, psychologists, performance analysts and others.

However, when it comes to acquiring the services of the aforementioned professionals the ones who specialise in the area of sports are preferred. For example, dieticians and nutritionists who specialise in sports nutrition, psychologists who have knowledge and understanding of sports psychology, orthopaedics with experience of treating sportspersons are generally given preference. As a result, experts who aim to work in the field of sports are better off with formal qualifications specialising in sports.

The ISST solution

With that in mind we, at the Institute of Sports Science & Technology, believe that our offerings through our programs, top-notch faculty and guest speakers, we address the requirements of various stakeholders – professional leagues, franchises, associations and teams, players, corporates, professionals seeking work in the sports field and passionate sports followers.

Our programmes give the opportunity to formally arm students and professionals with a sports qualification that will enable and empower them to associate with the game closely; to major and master in various aspects and attributes of the management and technical side of the game.

Be it media management, venue management, digital promotion, accessories and infrastructure management, broadcasting room expertise, on-field and on-ground management, player management, sport-related fitness and performance services, sports event management and finance management – just to name a few. Our offerings in sports management, event management and fitness management has helped us in realizing that on-field coaching and training can be alternated with classroom teaching and learning – to formally qualify people with a sports management/sciences diploma or a master’s certification.

With professional courses in sports sciences, nutrition, medicine, psychology, strength & conditioning, cricket management to name a few ISST has a variety of courses to offer. The ISST courses have certification from the International Sports Professionals Association, ISPA, Chicago, USA which is an internationally recognized credential. ISST also offers a bachelor’s program in Sports Management which is recognized by TMV, a UGC recognized, reputed university in India.

With our wide network, our own sports academies, events and industry tie-ups ISST provides guaranteed internship opportunities to the students and has a dedicated placement cell to help students with placements. The cricket management courses at ISST are co-certified by CricKingdom, Cricket Academy by Rohit Sharma.

ISST students have been placed as interns and also as permanent employees with many multi-national sports companies and organizations like Puma, Adidas etc. to name a few. Even many students have got opportunities to work in elite government organizations like Sports Authority of India.

There are a lot of other functional areas that are equally important for a game to be planned and conducted successfully. This is largely what every budding sportsperson or passionate fan and follower of the game has witnessed and it also stands true today as well.

Our objective for the courses at ISST is to provide a framework with content-rich essentials from the management perspective. To enable enthusiasts, passionate people, persons who want to formally equip themselves with a sports qualification – by understanding the game in terms of domain expertise, understanding sports bodies, their structure and the processes, understanding event management, stakeholder management, certifications related to sports, to nutrition, performance analysis – we plan to provide a comprehensive subject matter that will help provide a well-rounded understanding of sports management and sports sciences.

Published 22 Apr 2021, 18:38 IST

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