Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Rajyavardhan Rathore while speaking to ANI on Tuesday
Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Rajyavardhan Rathore while speaking to ANI on Tuesday

Focus on building infrastructure, not in hosting global events: Rathore

ANI | Updated: Dec 25, 2018 19:58 IST

New Delhi [India], Dec 25 (ANI): Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore is of the view that instead of spending a large amount in hosting major sporting tournaments, it is better to use that money in developing sports facilities and infrastructure.
Speaking in an exclusive interview to ANI, the former shooter said that while it is a good thing if major competitions are coming to India, it is more important to improve in terms of facilities and infrastructure, first.
"Competitions are important irrespective of whether you are a host or not. It is good if competitions are coming to India but one should always keep in mind that conducting a global sports event is an expensive affair. We would rather invest that money in developing facilities, building infrastructure, creating space for sports doctors and psychologists, etc," Rathore said.
"Hosting an event comes with an added advantage for the players but if we succeeded in creating world-class facilities for our athletes then our medal tally will definitely improve irrespective of the country we play in," he added.
Rathore, while revealing their future plans with regards to the Sports Authority of India (SAI), said that they intend to make it the world's best sports management agency. "Passion is very important, not only for players but also for those who are a part of the organising team. We tried to infuse it in Sports Authority and we were successful, as well. We have just started. We will make the Sports Authority of India the world's best sports management agency. And we are completely confident in achieving the same."
Talking about the government's Khelo India programme, the Minister highlighted the government's vision. He said that the government would be targeting school children aged between 10-12 years of age under the Khelo Programme. The talented players will be given a scholarship of Rs 5 lakh for the next eight years in order to transform them into international level players.
"In coming times, we will be targeting children aged between 10-12 years of age. Every school, along with state education boards and national education board, will join us. They will select skilful children through their basic system who in turn will come to us for further filtration. The selected students will get a scholarship of Rs 5 lakh for the next eight years so that when they reach in their 20s they acquire the skills of international standards," he said.
Praising the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), Rathore said that many players benefitted from the scheme and consequently yielded good results at major tournaments.
The sports minister said that year 2019 is going to be an innovative year for India in terms of sports. Manufacturing of sports equipment in India, people-friendly mobile application that would help players locate the nearest playing area and making booking accordingly, community coaches development programme that would help players to check the availability of coaches are some of the initiatives that are in the list of the Sports Ministry that they would be aiming to execute in the coming year. (ANI)

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