In 1927, the then director of the Railway board, Mr. A.M. Hayman had suggested that sports could play a huge role in establishing respect and mutual understanding among employees of different race, caste, religion and communities.
Who knew that this would be the starting ground for what would eventually turn out to be one of India’s premier sporting nesting grounds.
Railways have had a stellar history in its contribution towards Indian sports. The Railways Sports Promotion Board is dated earlier than several National Sports Federations in the country.
Right from the first Indian to participate in the Olympics, Kishan Lal, to the current members of the Indian Womens cricket team, Railways have played a significant role in churning out sportspeople for India.
The Railways currently have 1200 domestic and international medal winners on its roll, something that no other federation can come close to matching.
The Hall of Fame consists of several notable sportsmen such as Pargat Singh, Harbinder Singh, Mukhbain Singh and Mohd Shahid.
In cricket, legends such as Nari Contractor, Lala Amarnath and MS Dhoni all began thier careers playing for the Railways.
Badminton is also well represented, with the likes of Suresh Goel, Syed Modi and Madhumita Bisht filling up the honours board.
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If Athletics has been where Railways have always represented India, then P.T. Usha will be forever be remembered as the shining light in the Railways.
The sprinter from Kerala came agonizingly close to winning an Olympic medal in Los Angeles, when she came fourth by one hundredth of a second.
It will not be an exaggeration to say that Railways has almost single handedly fostered the growth of women sports in India.
The current national womens teams in hockey, wrestling, cricket, archery and weightlifting are almost exclusively from the Railways.
The Railways Sports Promotion Board is the single largest sports entity in the country, with 50% of international players and almost one-third of medal winners.
It is also worth mentioning that of the 21 Olympic medals that India have won till date, the Railways have contributed to 13 of them.
Boxing and wrestling are two sports in which the Railways have almost always produced national and international champions.
The likes of Vijender Singh, Akhil Kumar, Manoj Kumar, Mandeep Jangra, Sushil Kumar and Sakshi have their roots in the Railways.
One of the main reasons for such success has been the extensive sports infrastructure that the Railways possesses in the country.
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They have grounds, gymnasiums, swimming pools, badminton, volleyball, boxing rings and astroturfs spread all over the country.
Railway schools have been instructed to find and nurture youngsters from a very young age. The exposure and training the these youngsters face at a tender age, gives them the opportunity to make the best out of their talent.
The Railways aims to be the repository of the best sporting talent in India, excelling in the International Arena and in bringing glory to the nation.
With this vision, the RSPB is building its resources towards infrastructure, scientific training and coaching, physiotherapy, diet and nutrition support.
There is constant effort made in trying to catch the athletes from a young age, and groom them right with the dream of one day seeing them bring glory to the country.