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Sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore puts onus on states for talent to bloom

Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore on Monday took independent charge of the union sports ministry, a department responsible for preparing elite sportspersons for international competitions.

other sports Updated: Sep 04, 2017 23:35 IST
Navneet Singh
Navneet Singh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore,Indian Sports,2008 Beijing Olympic Games
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore succeeded Vijay Goel as India’s sports minister.(PTI)

Nearly eight years after winning silver in men’s double trap at 2004 Athens Olympic Games, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore was candid in saying ‘without intense focus it’s difficult to win medal in the Olympic Games’.

He said this in response to a question on his performance at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games where he wasn’t able to win a medal.

READ | Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Olympic silver medallist appointed sports minister

On Monday, the Olympic medallist took independent charge of the union sports ministry, a department responsible for preparing elite sportspersons for international competitions.

With eight months to go for the Commonwealth Games in Australia, he and his department can’t afford to lose focus. Besides Commonwealth Games, the year 2018 has another major event---Asian Games in Indonesia.

Briefing the media on the first day at office, he admitted that the department needs to work 24x7. “Players and their welfare will be top priority for the ministry. There has to be more conducive atmosphere for all.”

Since sports is state subject, he said, it’s the moral responsibility of each state to groom youngsters. “Central government will take charge of those top players who filter to the national level. All the stakeholders including National Sports Federations (NSFs) have to work in unison for good results,” he told media.

Rathore said sports should not be confined to schools and colleges. “With better management system, we can provide a good platform for the youth to excel and bring laurels to the nation.”

Soon after addressing the media, he had a long discussion with the officials of the department.

With time running out, the new minister will look to expedite the process of setting up Empowered Steering Committee (ESC) to oversee preparation for the next Commonwealth and Asian Games, the short-term goals before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Last year, the government had set up Olympic Task Force to prepare action plan for the next three Olympic Games. The panel had submitted its interim report recently.

The minister also faces the task of tackling doping problems. India have been ranked third in anti-doping violation on three occasions (2013, 2014, 2015). The World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) reports made public in 2015 reported that 117 Indian athletes failed dope test.

Then there is wrangling within the federations like Gymnastic Federation of India. GFI hasn’t organised a national competition for the past three years.

First Published: Sep 04, 2017 23:35 IST