Focus on performances, Rathore tells sportspersons

Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore was speaking at a felicitation function organised by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to honour and present cash awards to the medal winners of the 18th Asian Games held recently at Jakarta.

Sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore also noted the need to improve sports science.   -  PTI

Union sports minister, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, on Sunday exhorted sportspersons to focus on “performances.” He was speaking at a felicitation function organised by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to honour and present cash awards to the medal winners of the 18th Asian Games held recently at Jakarta.

“Stay focussed on your sport,” said Rathore. “These cash awards and incentives are very nice. State governments and corporate houses will also honour you. But remember that they (honours) are coming your way because you are winning medals. These honours come only when you perform. So, keep your focus on your performances and the awards will chase you. You have to tell yourself that my medal will happen.”

In a first, the IOA presented the medals winners with cash awards. In team events, the amount was three lakh (gold), two lakh (silver) and one lakh (bronze). For individuals, amount was five lakh (gold), three lakh (silver) and bronze (two lakh).

A total of 136 athletes were feted. Gold medallists among those present were Arpinder Singh, Tajinder Pal Toor, Amit Panghal and absent due to engagements were Vinesh Phogat, Rohan Bopanna, Neeraj Chopra and Rahi Sarnobat.

Rathore praised the athletes, “We are trying to make the Sports Authority of India sports and sportsperson centric. I am keen to provide funding for all the potential medal prospects of the next Olympics, Commonwealth and Asian Games. I am trying to reach out for sponsorship support from the sports-loving Corporate Houses and make a concentrated effort to help the athletes. TOPS and SAI will not create any bureaucratic hurdles and ensure the athletes concentrate fully on their preparations.”

Rathore also noted the need to improve sports science. “There is a need to overhaul the sports science department. We would like to digitise it so that we can access the bio profile of each athlete. We understand the contribution of the physiotherapists and masseurs and the Ministry has doubled the annual fee paid to them. We need to professionalize the service available to you. You are like machines which are performing and your shelf life is limited. We want this machine to work the best.”

The Sports Minister also revealed a plan where three crore kids (in 8 to 12 age category) will be identified and finally 1000 picked. “These 1000 kids will receive five lakh each year for the next eight years. We will add 1000 kids each year.”