India’s rise will be complete if we become sports power: Rijiju

New Delhi: Union MoS Youth Affairs and Sports (Independent Charge) Kiren Rijiju addresses at the ‘India Sports Summit – Fitness: $10 Billion Opportunity’, in New Delhi on Oct 10, 2019. (Photo: IANS)

New Delhi, Oct 10 (IANS) Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Thursday called for creating a sports culture in the country.

“Sporting culture has to become a way of life. India is aspiring to be a global leader, and we are already doing well in economy, politically, and spiritually. India’s rise will be complete and further consolidated if we become a sports power,” he said at the inaugural Sports Summit.

Rijiju further said that all the nations who are sporting powers, have the sports culture there, and playing games comes naturally to their citizens and children. “But in India, this was not true, but now the time has come to change. Desired results can’t be achieved without developing a positive and conducive sports culture.”

He also called upon the private sector and industry to play a big and active role in promoting fitness in the country.

“We are craving for results, yet celebrate only the success. But everyone playing games can’t be part of the national teams. So far, the primary concern of the family has been the financial security of the children, and hence the sports were not being encouraged. But now, changes are taking place. These can’t be achieved overnight,” he said.

“We have to change our outlook. Regressive slogans can’t encourage people to accept sports as a way of life.”

The Sports Minister further called upon the industry to play a big role in promoting the sports culture in the country.

He said create space and opportunities for the youth. “Some of the private sector companies have world class sports facilities in their area, and are also promoting and harnessing the talent in remote areas.”

He said that good ideas for sports promotion can come for anyone, and the government is willing to accept and implement them.

Rijiju further said why the country should be settling for a few medals in international events, why India can’t aspire to be among the top medal winners in Olympics, 4 to 8 years down the line.

He said when India celebrates its 75th year of independence in 2022, at least 80 per cent of the countrymen should be fit.

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