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'Induct young people at the helm of sports'

Sports Minister MS Gill calls upon Indian sports federations to induct younger people to breathe fresh life into sports bodies.

india Updated: Apr 23, 2008 13:56 IST

Sports Minister MS Gill on Wednesday called upon Indian sports federations to induct younger people to breathe fresh life into sports bodies.

"Bring in younger people into sports management. I assure you I will support it," said Gill after opening a workshop on the revamping of the athletics competitions calendar, organised by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI).

"Look for younger people who are positive and look how we can do it and not how we can block it (positive working)," he said.

Giving the example of his student days in Britain, Gill described how he got his £110 back promptly from the institution while returning to India. In India, he said, the general tendency is how to block positive ideas and moves.

Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Suresh Kalmadi, who turns 64 June 1 and has headed IOA for 12 years and has been associated with the AFI for 21 years, supported the sports minister.

"I have been telling the federations to bring in younger people. It's important," said Kalmadi, who is also president of the Asian Athletics Association since 2000. He has also been a MP for 26 years.

Gill, a former chief election commissioner, also wanted the sports federations to work in a democratic manner. He wanted them to use the funds in a transparent manner and produce results.

"There should be clean use of money, clean accounting and clean (positive) results. These are the only things required," said Gill, who recently replaced Mani Shankar Aiyar.

Gill did not seem to favour too many changes in the new existing policy, which has been delayed because of stiff resistance from IOA and some federations.

"There is no need to add English to the sports policy," he said sarcastically about a subject that was close to the heart of Aiyar. "India should be on top of sports, that's it. It's not just that sensex should rise."

Aiyar wanted changes in the existing policy, including creation of another layer to make IOA and the federations more accountable.

Gill also said that he would like the government to allocate more funds to raise the standard of sports.