India’s Olympic gold medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra urged corporations to get behind Olympic sports in New Delhi on Friday. The 35-year-old opined that cricket already had deep coffers and that it was the non-cricketing sports that need the investment.
The five-time Olympian, who called time on his decorated shooting career after the Rio Olympics in 2016, was in the capital to talk about his career and the effort he’s put in to reach the pinnacle.
“I think couple of things need to change in the landscape of Indian sports. There has to be lot more more corporations in sports outside of cricket. Lot more investment needs to come into Olympic sport,” Bindra said during an event.
Bindra created history when he claimed the gold medal in 10-metre air rifle event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. “I can give the example of United States Olympic Committee, the US Olympic committee does not get one dollar as subsidy from the government, they are completely funded by corporations. Things are different between USA and India.”
“The second point is about governance, I think sports governance is something which needs to change in this country. Good governance needs to come in. That change will only happen when that change is mandated. People don’t like change, people like to be where they are.
“The need of the hour is sports legislation which shows a degree of good governance. I think work is going on in that area. It requires political will and if that happens, it will give a great boost to Indian sports,” Bindra said.
Bindra, however, acknowledged that elite athletes do get support, once established. He called for patience while nurturing young players. “Unfortunately, everybody wants instant gratification and you don’t get instant gratification in grassroots. It requires perseverance and persistence and patience to get the desired result.”