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A sport consists of a physical activity or skill carried out with a recreational purpose: for competition, for self-enjoyment, to attain excellence, for the development of a skill, or some combination of these. A sport has physical activity, side by side competition, and a scoring system. The difference of purpose is what characterises sport, combined with the notion of individual (or team) skill or prowess.

The development of sport throughout history teaches us a great deal about social changes, and about the nature of sport itself.There are many modern discoveries in France , Africa , and Australia of cave art (see, for example, Lascaux ) from prehistory which provide evidence of ritual ceremonial behaviour. Some of these sources date from over 30,000 years ago, as established by carbon dating. Although there is scant direct evidence of sport from these sources, it is reasonable to extrapolate that there was some activity at these times resembling sport.were well developed and regulated several thousands of years ago, including swimming and fishing. Other sports included javelin throwing, high jump, and wrestling. Ancient Persian sports such as the traditional Iranian martial art of Zurkhaneh had a close connection to the warfare skills. Among other sports which originate in Persia are Poloand jousting military culture of Greece was an influence on the development of its sports and vice versa. The Olympic Games were held every four years in Ancient Greece, at a small village in Pelopponisos called Olympia

Sport has been increasingly organised and regulated from the time of the Ancient Olympics up to the present century. Activities necessary for food and survival became regulated activities done for pleasure or competition on an increasing scale, for example hunting, fishing, horticulture. The Industrial Revolution and mass production brought increased leisure which allowed increases in spectator sports, less elitism in sports, and greater accessibility. These trends continued with the advent of mass media and global communication. Professionalism became prevalent, further adding to the increase in sport's popularity. Not only has professionalism helped increase the popularity of sports, but additionally the need to have fun and take a break from a hectic workday or to relieve unwanted stress, as with any profession.

Government Policies

The government of India announced a National Sports Policy way back in 1984. However, the policy mainly spoke of promoting sports and games in the country, while sports goods as an industry was not in the forefront. As a result the industry is still sidelined and has suffered a setback in terms of various sops offered to most SSIs.

The government still needs to come up with a comprehensive policy for this industry, with emphasis on the export market.

Technology & Resources

Raw materials like wood, cork, cane, willow, fine grade plastic and leather form the basic inputs to production of sports goods. India heavily depends on import either due to non-availability of the raw material or low quality of available materials.

Technology can be touted as the most important factor that drives the sports goods industry today. Changing consumer needs can be catered to only by continuous technology upgradation in the production process. India’s greatest challenge is taking to this upgradation as quickly as possible. This would indeed be a gradual process as most of the manufacturers are still into production of traditional goods in conventional production methods. Aesthetically also, the Indian mindset is undergoing a metamorphosis.

Industry Overview

The sports goods industry in India is largely concentrated in the cottage and small-scale sectors. This has been an impediment to growth of the industry, mainly because of lack of necessary infrastructure, technology, marketing strategies and continual upgradation. Investments in the sector have also, quite obviously, been on the downslide. While the Indian sports goods industry has grown significantly over the years, a shift in manufacturing trends, away from traditional products to more value-added products would help the domestic industry sustain global challenges. Technology, coupled with suitable government initiatives, leading to cost-effective production techniques, would be the prerequisites for this highly evolving industry.

Market Characteristics

Consumer choice is perceived as the main driver of demand for sports goods. However, this has been the Indian domestic market’s biggest letdown. Lack of sports culture at various levels is also an impediment to development of the industry. The majority of demand for sports goods in India is by educational institutions and government departments like the police or railways. Low per capita income and concentration of the population in rural areas are some of the main factors for a slow take-off in demand for sports products.

Although the domestic scenario is yet to show significant improvement, exports of sports goods from the country has grown over the last few years. While inflatable balls occupy a major chunk of exports, cricket bats, hockey sticks and related protective gear follow in that order. The estimated domestic market for sports products is Rs. 17,050 lakhs

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