Admitting that his current role of being the Indian men’s cricket team’s head coach is all about delivering the World Cup, former India captain Rahul Dravid has stressed that parents and children should look at sport beyond the lens of achieving excellence in the sporting arena.
“There is a lot of focus on winning trophies, winning tournaments and winning matches and you know, in the job that I am currently, that is the only demand: to win the World Cup. That’s just a very small part of what sport does. Actually I don’t even think that is what sport is all about,” Dravid said during the inaugural edition of Making Sport Work Forum, an initiative for a cohesive effort towards development of sport through corporate social responsibility.
“When parents take their young kid to play sport, I don’t think anyone could start off playing a sport to win trophies or medals for the country. I think the aspiration has to be about living a healthier, fitter lifestyle; looking at the lessons that sport can teach you,” Dravid said.
“There are so many things sport teaches you just on and off the field: camaraderie, friendship, it teaches you about life. Life is about sharing, life is about partnerships. Nothing teaches you better than sport on a sporting field. There are so many lessons that we learn in a classroom but there are so many things that a classroom can’t really teach you. That’s where a sports field plays a huge role.”
Citing the example of only “310-odd boys and an even lesser number of girls” having adorned India’s Test cap in the 90 years since India played its first Test match, Dravid stressed on the need for looking at sport as a means for societal change.
“Be it confidence building, communication abilities, just a healthy lifestyle as well for so many boys and girls. Parents and children should really focus on all that. That’s really what sport should be about. Focusing on so many other benefits that you can gain from sport,” Dravid said.
“As a by-product of that, if you win medals and trophies, that’s fantastic. Sport is a means to build communities, to get people of different religions, socio-economic backgrounds, castes; in building all that, sport can play an incredible role.”
The forum - a joint venture by Sports and Society Accelerator and Meraki Sport & Entertainment - saw top executives across the corporate world sharing ideas about involving sport more as part of the CSR initiatives. A report titled “CSR and Sports in India Report 2023” was also released during the event.
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