CWG 2018: Perform to the best of your ability, says Rathore

The Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore encouraged Indian athletes to give their best shot at the CWG without worrying about the results.

Sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore is optimistic of a good show from the Indian contingent at the Commonwealth Games.   -  PTI

Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore will be cheering for the Indians at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast with a simple demand. “They should look to perform to the best of their abilities. They should not worry about winning or losing. If they give their best they can beat their tally of the 2014 CWG (at Glasgow),” said Rathore.

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He conceded, “I haven’t spoken to them directly. But there are a couple of things we did. As they had desired, we ensured a lot of sports science people accompanied them. We took care of wherever they wanted to train. We also funded some extra officials because the intent was right. If you convince us, we will pay for the extra official.”

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Rathore felt the Australian model was exemplary. “The Australians are building their sports. They love their sports. I will be there (in Gold Coast) for a week. I will get time to meet all the other institutions' people so that we can actually learn from them. For example, our National Sports University, before I came in, there was an MOU. If there is an MOU with a specific institution for a specific thing then there has to be more interaction, a higher level of interaction.”

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To put the process in perspective, Rathore added, “I scrapped the blueprint of the architecture for NSU and I said 'do it in consultation with the Australian university'. There is a difference between design building and designing sports building.

"When we are spending Rs. 500 crores, every penny needs to reflect the value. I also told them I want the Australian faculty to live there, at least one or two people who are responsible for what is coming from Australia. And I am willing to pay for this.”

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The Sports Minister was all praise for the modern infrastructure set up in Bengaluru by Rahul Dravid and Prakash Padukone along with Vivek Kumar. “It’s very nice. It's small but very specific and targeted, football is very nice, swimming is brilliant. Lovely badminton courts, good squash courts. I have suggested they should set up a hostel, have a residential facility. I will pay for it because the SAI facility is two hours from there."

Rathore said he was aiming to open centres of excellence soon. “They should have very good coaches so that our players do not have to travel abroad, except for a very few. Of course, some may have to go abroad, but if someone can go to an Indian location and get the same facility as say they would be getting in Nick Bollettieri or any other place. I am more than willing to fund it.”