India has shown promise in sports on various platforms such as the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and Olympics. Many states follow a certain sport due to an athlete’s native beginnings or an increasing trend in better training facilities and scope for medals. Here is a list of states that have their love for a specific sport.
Kerala – Athletics
Nicknamed “God’s Own Country”, Kerala has seen several athletes represent India in athletics. Many athletes such as P.T. Usha, Anju Bobby George, Shiny Wilson, K.M. Beenamol and K.T. Irfan have brought medals for India in various track events.
Andhra Pradesh & Telangana – Badminton
Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have produced some of the best badminton talent seen across the country. With badminton veterans such as Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu being a common name, these states have greatly improved India’s badminton game.
Tamil Nadu – Tennis and Squash
Sharath Kamal, Mahesh Bhupathi, Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal are some of the many players that Tamil Nadu has given India. These sports persons have greatly popularized racquet sports like squash and tennis and have been the reason for many medals.
Punjab – Hockey
Balbir Singh, Gurdev Singh, Udham Singh are some of the many hockey legends that are known all over the world. These Olympians hail from Punjab and have provided much scope and popularity to India’s national sport of hockey.
Haryana – Wrestling
Sushil Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt, Deepak Punia are household names in Indian wrestling who hail from Haryana. The sport has been popular in the state for a while, and is also the hometown of Geeta Kumari Phogat who fought stereotypes and encouraged wrestling women not just in Haryana but all over the country.
Uttar Pradesh – Kabaddi
Shirash Pal Singh, former coach of the Indian National Kabaddi team is one of the many talented players that Uttar Pradesh has raised. Not only is this sport followed but is also well known for academies that can bring out the best talent in Kabaddi.
West Bengal – Football and Table Tennis
Known for the legendary East Bengal vs. Mohan Bagan rivalry, West Bengal has renowned football craze. But another popular sport in the state is table tennis, with players like Soumyajit Ghosh and Poulomi Ghatak raising the Indian tricolor high and encouraging table tennis as a sport.
Odisha/Jharkhand – Archery
Odisha is known as the sports capital of India, as they chose to sponsor the Indian Hockey team. However, Jharkhand and Odisha are not exclusive to hockey, with talent like Deepika Kumari and Komalika Bari winning laurels for India in Archery. The sport’s popularity is evident in Odisha’s establishment of an archery association to train people for the sport.
Himachal Pradesh – Winter Sports
Shiva Keshavan is known as India’s sole Luger is one of the many encouraging factors in Indian winter sports. Popular in the state of Himachal Pradesh, one of the very few snowy regions in the subcontinent, winter sports are gaining increasing popularity.
Jammu & Kashmir – Combat Sports
The crown of India, Jammu and Kashmir have seen athletes bring medals for the country. Combat sports is popular to such an extent that the state has many martial arts schools and is also home to sqay, a native martial art that is also practiced armed with swords.
Manipur – Weightlifting and Boxing
Home to sensational athletes like Mary Kom, Jeremy Lalrinnunga, and Mirabai Chanu, Manipur has become the home for boxing and weightlifting. It has seen an increased popularity in both sports and has also helped India secure medals by athletes native to the state.
Goa – Football
FC Goa has die-hard fans that love and adore the sport of football. However, the sport has more than just digital influence and sees many youth participating in the sport casually or in the hopes of making it into the ISL or the World Cup.