Rijiju inaugurates 1st sports school in NE

Rijiju inaugurates 1st sports school in NE
Kiren Rijiju and AR officials at the inauguration of Sports school in Shillong on Monday.
Correspondent Shillong, Jan 4 (NPN) | Publish Date: 1/4/2021 12:45:38 PM IST

Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju on Monday inaugurated a Khelo India School (Sports school) at Assam Rifles Public School (ARPS) School at Laitkor here, the first ever sports school in the North East.

After inaugurating the school, Rijiju said that there was a need to produce talents and medal winners in a systematic way. “It is not the case that India does not have the talent. We have the potential. There are certain other reasons. The mindset, the attitude of the government and more importantly, the attitude of the society. Sports was not providing any career earlier. Except for some sports, we could not create talents,” Rijiju said.

He also inaugurated the synthetic football ground at SAI training centre, here in Meghalaya. 

 “We don’t create talents through system. Sports is tradition. I started taking interest in Sports and thanks to our Prime Minister Modiji, I was given the charge so from Day 1, I realised that we should use all forces to make Sports a tradition,” the Union Minister added. 

The ARPS school has been restructered as residential sports school under the Khelo India which is a national programme for the development of sports. A memorandum was signed between the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and ARPS for setting up the sports school.

Pointing out that the country lacks sports culture, the Union Minister said that playing was always treated secondary and therefore the mindset of the society and the attitude of the government has to change.

 Lauding initiatives like Khelo India, the Union Minister said it had become a brand now and ARPS Sports is under this and they will scout for talents and nurture them.

Dismayed at the poor medal tally of the country in the Olympics, Rijiju said that the agenda of the sports Ministry is clear that by 2028 Los Angeles India has to be among the top ten Olympic medal winning countries and efforts has been put in for achieving the goal.

Requesting everyone to contribute towards making the country a sporting nation, the Minister said that people don’t even watch sports in the country other than cricket and wrestling these days a little.

He said that the stadiums are empty and there are not much viewership in TV and internet as well.

“No viewers means no sponsor and slow or no growth,” Rijiju pointed out. 

“Sport is a soft power, a unifier and the country has to understand this to become a great sporting nation,” he added.

Stressing on the need to create sports facilities, the Union Minister said that small countries with populations of just 26 lakh wins in the Olympics. 

 “It is because a young boy or girl stood up for the right thing at the right time. Professional training comes much later. First you have to identify the champion. Sports facility is the main issue. Stadiums come much later. Sports facilities are primary,” Rijiju said. 

 He concluded his address by his assurance to provide top class coaches from the Sports Authority of India and that more funds will be provided for enhancing the facilities to the international standard.

 Meanwhile, Director General, Assam Rifles, Lt Gen Sukhdeep Sangwan said that it is important to have a institution in the NE as the region is full of talents.

“Let’s embrace this sporting culture, the North East has the passion to excel. Everyone should collectively have this passion and mission for winning the Olympic gold,” Lt. Gen. Sangwan said. 

“It is challenging but one has to dream to reach there,” he said. 


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