Policies initiated to make India a sports superpower: Rijiju

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 3

With an aim to make India a sports superpower, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports today asked the armed forces and the central armed police forces to identify and adopt specific disciplines in which they impart high-level training to prospective sportspersons.

Jawans demonstrate a daredevil act. Nitin Mittal

Addressing the participants during the inaugural ceremony of the 68th All India Police Athletics Championships at the ITBP’s Basic Training Center at Bhanu near here, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju said that the ITBP had already been identified to train sportspersons for winter games, like ice hockey and skiing.

The ITBP will soon get a training centre for the purpose, by combining facilities available at various other centres, for which the necessary funds as well as administrative support would be made available by the Sports Ministry, he said.

The minister said a host of training facilities were available with these organisations and appreciated the growing importance being given by them to sporting activities.

Rijiju further said his ministry had approached state governments as well as police organisations to take over some of the training centers belonging to the Sports Authority of India (SAI).

An athlete competes in shot put. Nitin Mittal

The SAI has over 280 centres and it is not in a position to run them all. While the SAI will retain national centres of excellence, some other centres would be given to state or police authorities, after initial training in the states, sportspersons showing good potential would then be moved to the centres for excellence, Rijiju revealed.

Stating that the Sports Ministry has revamped the training procedures and has adopted a scientific approach to tap talent at a younger age as well as determining which sport an individual would be suited to, the minister said policies have also been devised and work has been started to bring India among the top-10 countries at the Los Angeles Olympics eight year from now.

Pointing out that India has the largest youth population in the world, Rijiju lamented that due importance was not given to the sports and physical activities in the past and as a result the fitness levels of the citizens at large were quite low.

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