Women athletes inspiring all: The changing sports landscape in India
Women in sports, and especially Olympic sports, have been a hot topic of discussion for quite a while now. But what is noteworthy here is that there are certain sports that women athletes have almost owned at the Olympics.
For instance, it has only been women who have held the fort for the country when it comes to boxing or badminton. Furthermore, it was only women who bagged medals for India at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
India’s leading former tennis player Manisha Malhotra has highlighted key details of the changing Olympics sports landscape in the country. She notes that the overall participation of women has increased from just 2.2% in 1990 to a whopping 47% at Tokyo 2020. India itself fielded a contingent that consisted of 44% women.
An interesting perspective to note here is that women champions have always played a key role in uplifting the society around them, while helping break the glass ceiling and eventually enable more women to take up the sport.
Numerous impressive changes have been recorded over the years. From a societal perspective, a crucial positive point is associated with Haryana, one of the most male-dominated societies in the country. The state is producing the largest number of women athletes and champions across a number of different sports, including wrestling and boxing.
Despite notable improvement, the existing need to create a safe environment for women in sports must not be ignored. In order to make the environment more inclusive, a greater number of women athletes is as important as having more women who are coaches, more women in the administrative system, and more women in mentorship programmes.
Way forward, the health and nutrition space should focus on the needs of women athletes and emphasise a science-based approach. For instance, what are the tolls of a period on a body?
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