Goel assures upkeep of sporting venues

I have issued strict instructions to the venue administrators. I made a flying visit during the wrestling event and I will be making more such surprise visits across venues during all future events,” Goel said.

Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Vijay Goel with Chief Minister of Manipur, N. Biren Singh, cricketer Mohammad Kaif, boxer star Vijender Singh in New Delhi on Friday.   -  PTI

Sports Minister Vijay Goel on Friday reiterated his commitment to developing sports at the grassroots through the recently-developed Talent Search Portal even as he assured that poor facilities and maintenance of existing venues would be taken care of at the earliest.

Asking kids aged eight years and above to directly upload their videos and achievements on the TSP, Goel said that the final 1000 kids shortlisted and selected would be awarded scholarships and adopted for further training at Sports Authority of India centres, several of whom are ironically in dire need of development themselves.

“I have issued strict instructions to the venue administrators. I made a flying visit during the wrestling event and I will be making more such surprise visits across venues during all future events,” Goel said, referring to the poor conditions at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Complex during the recent Asian Wrestling Championships.

Accompanied by Manipur Chief Minister Biren Singh and other sports personalities, Goel was speaking at the launch of a 25-feet football blow-up to popularise the upcoming FIFA Under-17 World Cup, to be held at six venues across the country, from October 6-28. The launch was part of a mini football fest organised as part of promotional activities ahead of the World Cup.

Incidentally, the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the city is one of the six venues for the World Cup but poor conditions there forced the AFI to shift the Federation Cup athletics next month to Patiala. While Biren is a former India player, also present on the occasion included cricketer Mohammed Kaif and pugilist Vijender Singh.