Handball: An Unpopular Sport in India?

By Supriya Sharma
From Jesus And Mary College, New Delhi
Posted Jun 20th 2013 2:00AM

Handball and India's other unpopular sportsSo when we think about India and its Sports, the first thought that crashes our mind is Cricket, Hockey or maybe Football. We need to realize that a few popular sports in India have sidelined other sports of the country.

Many people are unaware of the different sports that our country participates in. For instance, Boxing came into light only after Vijender Singh got the country laurels from the Olympics 2008, held in China, and similar was the case with Sushil Kumar for Wrestling.

Let us now put some light on Handball. How many of us know about handball? Handball players have participated in different international events but how many of us know their names? I do not think that the answers to these questions will be positive.

The Handball men team-under 21 won the Silver Medal at the "International Continental Handball Challenging trophy" held at Tashkent, Uzbekistan, this year, while the Under 21-Girls won the Gold in Nepal. The women team also won the Gold in the South Asian Championship held in Lucknow this year. There were many other tournaments like these, like the Senior Asian Championship held in Indonesia this year where the Women Handball team participated.

Even after a multifarious participation by the Handball players, a handful of us know about this sport and about the players of this sport.

Harmeek Singh, a top handball player and an Ex-DU student says, "Media should focus on all sports equally rather than a few main games. The unpopular games are the ones which mostly grasp medals and bring laurels to the country at the international levels but are still not known due to the lack of media coverage."

"Due to the unawareness of our sport, it is discouraging for players like us who also play at the international levels but are unknown.", says Varuni Negi, a student of physical education in the Delhi University and an international handball player with participation in the Asian Games, South Asian Games and many more.

Many other players complain that even after participating in so many handball tournaments in India and abroad, they do not receive a handsome amount of scholarships neither do they get good sponsors.

The main focus of the media and the public is basically on a few main sports. This has not only disesteemed such games but has also led to problems of low developments in the infrastructures of such games.

The government as well as the sports ministry of India along with the federations of different 'unpopular games' should work out for solutions to boost these games and provide better facilities for such games which are capable of getting laurels to the country at bigger tournaments in the future.
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