Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore on Sunday called on the corporate sector to come forward and take the top five Sports Authority of India (SAI) stadiums of the capital under their wings, PTI reported.
Rathore said it is time the corporate sector come forward and discharge their duties in developing the younger generations of the country.
“We need changes in everything. The vision of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi is very clear – to develop a young and vibrant India. We need to create a sporting culture for our next generation,” he said. “So I call upon the corporate sector to take over five big stadiums of the capital,” he added.
‘India is a sleeping giant’
Rathore termed India a “sleeping giant” and said it’s time for the country to wake up and show its sporting potential.
“India is a sleeping giant. Today it’s about just 5,000 athletes out of 100 crore people competing and winning one or two medals. But the day we wake up the world will realise our potential,” said Rathore, who on Sunday became the first sports minister of India to run with the Queens Baton Relay in New Delhi.
The minister reiterated that athletes are the focal point of the current government and bureaucracy will have to take a back seat.
“There will be a big change. From now on it’s all about player-centric preparation. Sportsmen are most important. Players, fans and coaches are key and Indian Olympic Association (IOA), federations (NSFs) and sports ministry officials will be below them,” Rathore said.
“We need to bring down IOA, federations and sports ministry officials who used to call the shots earlier. Their responsibility will be to give the athletes the necessary help and platforms.”
He also stressed on the need to bring about professionalism in the working of the National Sports Federations.