The recent gold medals won by the Bangladesh teams at South Asian games highlight the massive potential of the country in sports arena. In total, the representatives of the country have bagged 19 gold medals, in various events.
Bangladesh won the medals in archery, women’s cricket, weightlifting, fencing, karate and
taekwondo. This is a matter of great pride for the nation. Despite lack of funding and
training institutions, our athletes have managed to give outstanding performance in these
In our country, majority of the sports-related funding and focus is spent on cricket, and that too men’s cricket. The sport of football receives the remaining funding, leaving the rest of athletic activities in the lurch.
Training is expensive and hard to access for many avid enthusiasts of different athletic activities such as archery and fencing. There is no funding for these sports, and those who receive training have to do so by spending out of their own pockets. Many of these athletes come from financially struggling families, and they have a hard time buying proper equipment or safety gear, let alone expensive lessons from professionals.
Women in the country have to face many barriers when it comes to taking part in athletics. Social norms dictate that women stay far away from rigorous activities.
Despite lack of funding and training
institutions, our athletes have managed
to give outstanding
performance in these events
Many talented young athletes with vast potential are unable to pursue their passion as their families forbid them from being involved in physical activities.
Instead, they are expected to do housework and become ideal housewives. Amidst this bleak situation, our athletes are a shining ray of hope, as they have managed to overcome all hurdles to pursue a career in athletics.
Particularly inspiring is the story of Ety Khatun, a fourteen year old girl who won archery gold for the country in the South Asian Games after defying child marriage. Her story highlights the plight of young women in the country, who despite having talent and initiative, are unable to chase their dreams due to socio-economic barriers.
The government must pledge to fund training programmes for young athletes and grant sports athletic scholarships. Training centers for various sports should be opened, particularly in rural areas, and young girls and women should be encouraged to enter the sports field.