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  • Shiva Keshav

Action Plan for Development of Winter Sports organizations in India

Successful sporting nations rely on several variables that can be collectively termed as High-Performance Sport Development Systems. These factors can be classified into three levels: macro-, meso-, and micro-level.

Macro Factors: These include the social and cultural environment in which people live, such as economic conditions, demographic factors, geography, politics, and national culture.

Meso Factors: These factors influence the policy environment of nations. Micro Factors: These factors influence the success of individual athletes.

In this action plan, Shiva Keshavan focuses on the meso- and micro-level factors that can be developed over a short or medium term period, and would aid the growth of winter sports organizations in India. Shiva draws on his learnings from the ELMS High Performance Leadership Program (HPLP), as well as from independent research, peer research, and interviews with leaders in sporting organizations, in addition to 25 years of his experience as an athlete, luger and six-time Olympian.

This action plan is divided into six parts - Governance, Organization & Structure of Sports Policies, Sports Activities, Infrastructure Development, High-Performance Culture, Athlete Policy, and Media & Communication - and consists of 15 action points that cover a wide spectrum of activities ranging from governance and policy to sporting calendars, infrastructure development, training and research, athlete remuneration, and media and communication strategy. Together, it provides a comprehensive overview of how to create a high performance sporting culture for winter and other sports in India.

Governance, Organization and Structure of Sports Policies A high standard of governance is a key factor in preparing any sports organization to be fit for the future and create a successful sports and recreation sector. The current scenario in India, with the legal challenges posed by independent activists to the implementation of the national sports code, has caused significant delays and eroded the credibility of sports organizations, with the athletes 1 ultimately bearing the brunt.

Sports Activities Regular activities are the fundamental requisite of any program that aims to promote sports. An annual calendar of activities focusing on the various aspects of sport development and the seasonality of training and competition must be developed to create a sustainable sport system.

Infrastructure Development Adequate infrastructure is the differentiating factor between organized and performance-oriented sport and amateur recreation. Although winter sports infrastructure is lacking in India, some investments have been made, such as the approx. Rs. 200 Crore investment for infrastructure required for the 1st Winter SAF Games in 2012 in Uttarakhand. However, the opportunity for 3 creating one or more centralised multi-sport centres has not yet been understood

High Performance Culture A high-performance environment for athletes can only be created if the people working for them demonstrate the drive to do what is necessary to foster the athlete’s development. In other words, to create a high-performance culture, factors such as consistency in delivery, growth-oriented mindset, the ability to take calculated risks and having effective communication and collaboration 4 between key stakeholders are all important and need to be considered by sports organizations.

Athlete Policy In order to make a career in sport attractive and sustainable, athlete policies should consider the needs of elite level athletes from their development to performance stage as well as post- 5 competitive stage of their career.

Media & Communications A professionally managed sports organization must have a strategic media and communication 6 plan to develop and leverage the platform of the sport, athletes and competitions.

This is a summary of the project report submitted by Shiva Keshavan for his participation in the High Performance Leadership Program. If you are interested in reading the full report, please write to us at

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