India is still lagging behind other countries in sports primarily because “we do not give due importance to the role of sports psychology and physiology”, former India hockey captain Zafar Iqbal said in Aligarh on Saturday.

Addressing a three-day International Conference on ’Sports Science’ at the Aligarh Muslim University, the former hockey star pointed out that the main factor behind the overall success of Australia in different fields of sports was because “sport administrators were giving due importance to the role of sports psychologists and physiologists“.

Another former Olympian, Sq. Leader, S Shahid Hakim, while speaking at the conference, suggested that one way of popularising sports would be to include a provision of “20 per cent marks” for sports activities in different classes at the school level.

He lamented that presently India was only focusing on “elite games” and not on disciplines that can be popularised at the mass level.

Among those participating in the three-day conference are Dr Eric Brimer from the University of Technology, Queensland, Australia, Prof M L Kamlesh, former Head of Sports Authority of India and several other senior sports administrators and scientists from different parts of the country.

More In: Hockey | Sport