Anurag Thakur emphasises the Center's efforts to turn India into a sports country

Anurag Thakur emphasises the Center's efforts to turn India into a sports country

On Sunday, Federal Minister Anurag Thakur emphasised the Narendra Modi administration's efforts to promote the nation's sports culture and emphasised the importance of the states in this endeavour.

In his speech at the 13th Convocation of the Tamil Nadu Physical Education and Sports University, Thakur said that several measures had been taken to encourage sports and athletic talent in the nation, and the benefits were now apparent.

R N Ravi, the university's chancellor, the state governor, the minister for youth welfare and sports development for Tamil Nadu, and Udhayanidhi Stalin, the provost, were all in attendance.

PM Modi has "always pushed us to make India a sports superpower," according to Thakur. "This dedication is shown whether encouraging our athletes or interacting with them before to or after different competitions. India's sports culture has regained impetus under his (the PM's) leadership, the country's sports infrastructure has grown, and every effort is being made to support athletes from the playing field to the podium." "Under the Khelo India concept, several sports centres of excellence have been established. Many sports scientists have been added as support personnel at the centres of excellence "said he.

Speaking of the shift that was made to prioritise coaching and infrastructure above administration, he said, "The first thing I did after becoming the minister was to give up a few administrative positions to create room for adding more coaches. And in less than nine months, we had more than 450 instructors." In the Union cabinet, Thakur is in charge of Media and Broadcasting, Youth Affairs and Sports, and Sports.

He said that because sports were a state topic, many physical education graduates would be eager to serve their respective States if each state began to invest more effort in the area of sports.

The "method towards training in sports has experienced a paradigm change," he said, due to the sort of advancement that Indian medicine and science had achieved, particularly in biomedical research and development, high quality clinical treatment, public health studies, and interventions.

"Today we are not just building and training our athletes for competition, we are exploring the unimaginable possibility of turning them into high performance athletes, performing better than the world's best," he said, adding that the recently opened sports science centres in various parts of the country would be transformational and a major step towards providing the best facilities to athletes as well as developing the sports culture in the country.

Thakur also emphasised India's better results in a number of sporting competitions, such as the Olympics in Tokyo, the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, the Thomas Cup triumph, the Indian women's U-19 T20 World Cup success, and others.

He said that the nation has also successfully hosted high-profile athletic events, such as the 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad last year. He also praised Tamil Nadu's "illustrious" athletic tradition, saying that athletes like squash player Joshna Chinnappa, cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin, paddler Sharath Kamal, and chess champion Viswanathan Anand have brought honour to the state and the nation at home and abroad.

The graduating students were afterwards presented with diplomas and medals by the governor.