Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Anurag Thakur today said sportspersons have the full support of the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in their quest for sporting excellence.
In an article in a newspaper, Mr Thakur wrote that Tokyo-2020 was an Olympics of many firsts for the country.
He said, India won her first gold in athletics, the hockey team did wonders and there were successes in other sports such as discus throw, golf and fencing.
He said, the Target Olympic Podium Scheme, Khelo India and the Fit India Campaign have laid the foundations for greater success.
Mr Thakur said, Prime Minister Modi is a person who is passionate about sports and willing to go the extra mile for India’s athletes.
Before the Tokyo Games began, the Prime Minister held an extensive review meeting to take stock of India’s preparedness.
The Sports Minister further said that when it comes to sports, the Prime Minister has understood the root of the problem – that sports generate much interest, but there is a wide gap when it comes to incentives and participation.
He hoped that people will realise that sports makes for an attractive and honourable career when they see the government, and the corporate sector support the players.
Mr Thakur elaborated that one of the ways to enhance India’s sporting success is by looking at encouraging states towards ‘One State, One Sport’ outlook.
He said, states can prioritise one game or promote a few based on the available talent pool, natural interest, climatic conditions and available infrastructure.
This will not only bring a focussed approach, but also allow for optimum utilisation of existing resources in the state.
Further, the Minister added that corporate India must also be brought on board to adopt ‘One Sport, One Corporate’.
He said, across the world, corporates are at the forefront of extending support to budding talent, building leagues, enhancing the fan experience, marketing as well as merchandising to enhance the financial kitty of players.
Another important aspect that Mr Thakur highlighted, is building a grassroots sporting culture. For this, he said, it is imperative to expand the calendar for various games at the local, state and national levels.