Rajnath Singh: ‘When one sportsperson shines, the whole country feels a sense of pride’

The Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, expressed his confidence to the athletes, who were assembled in good strength, that they would "make everyone proud’’, with their performances, in the Commonwealth Games (CWG), in Gold Coast, Australia.

Indian athletes pose for a photograph with Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh (center), during the send-off ceremony of the Commonwealth Games 2018, in New Delhi, on Thursday.   -  AFP

The Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, expressed his confidence to the athletes, who were assembled in good strength, that they would "make everyone proud’’, with their performances, in the Commonwealth Games (CWG), in Gold Coast, Australia.

“When a country is an economic power, there is a sense of pride in everyone. Similarly, when one sportsperson shines, the whole country feels a sense of pride’’, said the Home Minister, who made a quick visit, for the send-off function, to express his solidarity, with Indian sports, despite very important commitments.

The Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju, addressed the athletes, and inspired them, by recalling how he had followed the Olympics and other games, with such intense admiration, over the years.

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“When P.T. Usha missed the medal, in the Los Angeles Games, in 1984, I did not eat properly for a month’’, said Kiren Rijiju.

He also remembered that how he had felt proud when the current sports minister, Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore, had won the silver medal, in the Athens Olympics.

“Your sports minister is in Bengaluru, and thus could not be here. In Parliament, I stand up for the sports ministers, whenever they are away, and it is easy to answer questions’’, he remarked.

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Taking a quick look back at India’s performance, in the past editions of the Commonwealth Games, Kiren Rijiju wished that the “contingent of 222 athletes would win many medals’’.

“You are fortunate to represent the country. Do not do such thing to defame the country on the field and off the field’’, he pleaded. “Have a wonderful time on the field, and outside’’, he told the athletes.

The Chef De Mission, Vikram Sisodia, assured the athletes of all support to ensure their best performance. He hoped that from fifth, in Glasgow, in the last edition, India would climb up to the top-3 position, in the medals table.

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With Edelweiss extending long-term support for Indian sports, till the Tokyo Olympics, Shabnam Panjwani, the Marketing Head, sought the media to highlight the performances of the women athletes on the front pages, so as to encourage the rest of the girls to take up sports.

Edelweiss, which has come up with a slogan, “Team India, Be Unlimited’’, will offer ₹50 lakh insurance cover to every Indian athlete, competing in the Commonwealth Games.

With many athletes and teams, already training or competing abroad, about 50-odd athletes and officials, from hockey, wrestling, cycling, shooting etc., were given a bouquet and a token kit, on the occasion.

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