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Sachin Tendulkar urges government to appoint ex-athletes coaches, change Indian sports

Sachin Tendulkar didn’t get to deliver his speech in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday due to opposition protests, but shared his views on charting a path for Indian sport.

cricket Updated: Dec 22, 2017 23:13 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Sachin Tendulkar,Rajya Sabha,Cricket
Sachin Tendulkar didn’t get to deliver his speech in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday due to opposition protests, but he did share his views a day later on how India can become a better sporting nation. (PTI)

In cricket, there’s no dearth of qualified coaches and top-class infrastructure to hone talent in India. However, the same can’t be said about a lot of other sports.

It is one of the main reasons why India has been prevented from becoming a strong sporting nation.

As part of his endeavour to transform India from being a sports loving nation to a sports playing nation, Sachin Tendulkar has urged the Indian government to set up an organisation that employs former players, who can do what they do best -- share their expertise with young children at various platforms, including schools.

“A retired athlete should lead a respectable life. There are a lot of sportsmen who are without jobs; and then there are sportsmen who are only doing jobs because they have families to feed. If they are given the option of becoming coaches, a lot of them will happily go for the option. It will be a win-win situation for Indian sports,” Tendulkar told Hindustan Times when asked about his vision for Indian sports.

On Thursday, Tendulkar had moved a short discussion motion on the future of sports in India and right to play in his maiden speech in the Rajya Sabha.

However, before he could begin, protests by the opposition forced the proceedings to be adjourned. He then shared the ideas contained in his speech on social media, the crux of which was to raise the standard of all sports in India.

“If we get these former players to coach, the youngsters will get their basics right, and it will also help spot talent early. We need to identify talent at five or six years, like top sporting nations. Now, when we go to the Olympics, we are not able to compete in many events because our athletes are up against players who have been trained for double the amount of time and with better facilities,” said Tendulkar.

India has seen a spurt in high-profile competitions with the introduction of franchise leagues, but it has still not led to medals in major events. It is equally important to give youngsters good infrastructure. One great example is the rise of Roger Federer from a small Swiss town to become the greatest tennis player in history, Tendulkar said.

“In my speech, I have requested the central government to spare some percentage of money for developing sports infrastructure. Like smart cities, we should add to it, smart sports cities.”

The legendary cricketer also urged his compatriots to take up sports. “Every person should take up some sport, not just to become a professional athlete, but for staying healthy. According to the UN report, we will have a lot of health issues and by 2030 the government will end up spending 6.3 trillion dollars on it. It will be a huge negative impact on our economy, and (the issue can be addressed) if we can get it down by leading an active life.”

He also tweeted: “It is my endeavour to transform India from being a sport loving nation to a sport playing nation. I urge you all to participate in this effort and help make my dream, our dream. Always remember, dreams do come true! Jai Hind.”

First Published: Dec 22, 2017 23:13 IST