Sports and physical education play a crucial role in the all round development of children, adolescents and youth, hereafter referred to as youth in general, who constitute not only about 70 per cent of our population but, as the Prime Minister has repeatedly emphasized, constitute our single most significant human resource advantage over all aging developed societies and even China. With a view to ensuring sport development as an integral aspect of youth development and youth development as critical to accelerated national development, the National Sports Policy 2001 lays special emphasis on Broad-basing of Sports? through grassroots level sport activity and ?Promoting Excellence in Sports? at the national and international levels. It is, therefore, essential that sport development is given adequate thrust so that it could permeate through other aspects of social life and make the youth health conscious, positive and productive.
The major constraint in taking sport activity to the grassroots level is the very limited availability of basic sports infrastructure/ facilities in the country. Further, the existing base too is highly skewed, as it is largely concentrated in urban areas, which account for not more than 25 per cent of the population. The remaining 75 per cent of the population, which largely lives in rural areas, is deprived of even rudimentary sporting facilities. The rural-urban gap and also that within the urban areas, especially the poorer areas, is getting even wider with large-scale augmentation of sports infrastructure in a few selected cities in connection with hosting of major international sporting events.