CHange is the most unchangeable aspect of life, and sport is no exception. Standing in the 21st century, where every conceivable object is judged by its value, sport is also a lucrative product now rather than a sheer pastime. There was a time when participation, not winning, was the only major factor. But gone are the days of 'play for pride'. In this hard world of professionalism one is now left with the only way of excelling in his/her own domain. And the success of the sportsmen these days do not only depends on sheer skills. Media, be it print or electronic, aided by highly innovative corporate houses, is now playing a big part in the making of a star. In a world of specialisation different sports bodies in the world have drafted in specialised persons to make their brands more attractive. It's good news that Bangladesh cricket, and football to some extent, has followed suit. We are proud that cricket has already become a thriving sport in our country and has given the nation a refreshingly different identity on the world map. But at the same time there are other disciplines which are struggling for even survival. Take hockey for instance. The sport once promised a lot but lost its grounds thick and fast. Athletics and swimming are still being run by a set of amateurs. And due to lack of a definitive sports policy that needed to be formulated in line with modern-day thinking, potential games failed to get their fair share of opportunities to flourish. If we want to be competitive on a level playing field the need of the hour is introduction of professionalism in lieu of the old-fashioned way of running things with part-timers. The Daily Star Sport has always tried to be true to the spirit of the millions of sports lovers of the country. And its latest venture, a 52-page supplement to mark the 15th anniversary of the newspaper, I believe, is yet another whole-hearted endeavour to reflect on the bright sides of our sports as well as addressing a few burning issues that need a long hard look from the policy-makers.
On this auspicious occasion we thank all our readers, sponsors and patrons for their continued support to the Star Sport section.