NEW DELHI: Soon India will be hosting more international events. The sports ministry has decided to concentrate on holding more such competitions, and the idea has been conveyed to the national sports federations (NSFs) during a meeting on Friday.
The ministry believes that this will help in spreading awareness and inculcating a sporting culture among the masses. Also being a host, more athletes from the nation will get the opportunity to compete in this events. The federations that attended the meeting too seemed pleased with the outcome.
Sports secretary RS Julaniya felt that this will eventually help athletes get more exposure. He stated that since the stature of the country is growing, international competitions can be hosted in India. "We are capable of hosting important international events and it will eventually help athletes and the sport grow as well. So we have told federations that we will assist in hosting international events," Julaniya said.
IOA chief Narinder Batra concurs and says it will be good for Indian sports. "If ministry will support, federations can bid for such events," he said. The ministry will also upgrade existing facilities so that there are no constraints for holding quality events.
Another crucial topic of discussion at the meeting was taking sports to the grassroot level. The ministry discussed ways through which sports could be taken to district level, an area that has generally been neglected. "We have asked the federations to host more district-level tournaments," said Julaniya.
"There must be district-level competitions in all sport. We told them that we will support them in whatever way possible," he added. The ministry also envisaged broad-basing the Khelo India programme. Talent scouting is one aspect the ministry is keen on expanding.
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Another interesting development that has gone down well with the federations is the plan to increase grants to national events. "We have decided to increase grants. Also, emphasis will be given to school and university games. Sports in universities and schools are very crucial. The idea is to encourage youth to take up sport," said Julaniya.
On the sports code, the sports secretary echoed Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju’s words. Like this newspaper had reported on Thursday, since it is still in the discussion stage, all stakeholders will be consulted. "We will form a committee to look into it," said Julaniya.