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A critical study of sports talent selection and promotion of sports participation, at young age
  1. Devinder K Kansal1,2
  1. 1Head, Department of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, University of Delhi, Delhi, India
  2. 2Principal, Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, New Delhi, India


It has been a long drawn effort of the author to draw attention of the authorities to the importance and emphasis needed to be given to the question of most appropriate talent selection at young age for prospective excellence in sports. Unfortunately non-existence of graduation degree in sports coaching in India and wide spread unawareness, among departments and institutions of higher education in physical education and sports to the fields of physical growth, development, physique and physiological variations prevalent in India, children are left to select mostly sports unsuitable to their adult body potentials. The present study has been based on survey and critical analysis and new interpretations of existing research data on Olympic Champions (Carter 1984; Hirata 1979; Tanner 1964). In general, coaches and sports federations in India have been found to lack not only in the application of existing scientific principles but also in developing or maintaining any library or any literature on talent selection, or on measurement and evaluation even at any offices of national and state level sports associations/federations. The study has presented the scientific results on talent selection in a suitable form to make it easy to be used by the sports trainers and sports counsellors. Critical points of failure in the talent selection at young age have been dealt with scientifically along with a mapping of the long term plans and easy solutions for removing many hurdles currently in implementation of scientific preparation of Indian teams for national and international participation. Findings have also been reported to improve the number of sports participants in the country through proper talent selection at young age. The present population of sportspersons in India is extremely less, being less than 1% of the students up to middle schools and less than 10% of the students in colleges and universities. It has been proposed for better sports talent grooming that all high schools should be given sports infrastructure for training and participation in atleast one outdoor sport and one indoor sport/fitness activity. Each school must be accordingly required to participate in inter scholastic competitions in atleast these two sports or one sports and one fitness event. Prediction of adult physique at young age and scientific selection of most suitable sports has been presented in the present paper, to be presented in the Commonwealth Games 2010 Conference. It has also been explained that there is an urgent need to start an international CAKE (ie, Centre of Application of Knowledge Existing in the field of Sports research literature for preparing key guidelines for talent selection at young age). Sports participation will be increased many fold if children are guided properly to select a right sport as per their adult physiques and sports potentials.

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