Sports in Uttar Pradesh
The categorization of sports activities in Uttar Pradesh is done on the lines of (i) traditional and (ii) modern. Uttar Pradesh has a fair number of sports education and training colleges and institutes spread in the various districts of the state that provide training and discipline in many sports. Talented and able sportspersons are given scholarships to appear for the state in various national and international tournaments and many of them are given postings in government departments.
Traditional Sports in Uttar Pradesh
This category includes Field Hockey, which is India’s national sport, Archery, Boxing, Football, Kabaddi, Kho Kho, Swimming, Throw ball, Wrestling and Weight-lifting. There are local and district championships for these games which are played according to traditional rules governing the location. The people living along the foothills of the mountain ranges as well as the local people indulged in many sports activities as part of community building as well as building good physiques to meet the vagaries of the harsh winter climates of the state.
Modern Sports in Uttar Pradesh
In the modern sports segment, there are games like Cricket, Carom, Badminton, Tennis, Athletics, Baseball, Volleyball, Basketball, Gymnastics and martial arts like Judo, Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Muay Thai, Fencing and Kick-boxing etc.
In recent years, cricket has overtaken hockey as the national sport because of its popularity all over the country. Cricket gained importance in India during the British rule when several princely states and maharajahs formed teams to play the sport for leisure and competitively. Many past and present cricketers have represented the state in the Duleep, Irani and Ranji Trophies, which are national level domestic circuit tournaments; they have also played for the country against international teams. The present Indian Cricket Team also has several players from the state.
Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association
Headquartered in Kanpur, the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) is the governing body that takes care of the game of cricket and its administration in UP. The UPCA is affiliated to the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India).
World-Class Stadia in Uttar Pradesh
The recently built international stadium in Noida, which is part of the Sports City being developed there, has been named the Greater Noida Cricket Stadium. The UPCA has signed an agreement with the promoters of the stadium to host future Cricket tournaments.
The Faizabad Sports Complex is another modern and well equipped sports venue to conduct games and tournaments and has excellent training and workout facilities for athletes.
The Buddh International Circuit gained worldwide attention in 2011 when it became the venue for the country’s inaugural F1 Grand Prix Race.
Adventure Sports in Uttar Pradesh
The vastness of the state is endowed generously with the copious flow of water from many major rivers – India’s pride, the sacred Ganga, Yamuna, Alaknanda, Bhagirathi, Bhilanganga, Sarayu, Mandakini, Ramganga, Gomti, Chambal etc. - besides many smaller ones and their tributaries that encourage several recreational and adventure sports activities. The state’s rolling mountain landscape offers several sites for adventurous sports.