Goel: 'Govt-backed athletes should set up academies'

Sports minister Vijay Goel praised Paralympic gold-medallist Paralympian Mariyappan for donating Rs. 30 lakhs to a government school in Tamil Nadu.

Mariyappan Thangavelu, hailing from Tamil Nadu, won a Paralympics gold medal in high jump.   -  Getty Images

Touched with Paralympian Mariyappan Thangavelu’s gesture to donate Rs 30 lakh from his prize money to his school, sports minister Vijay Goel today said that all athletes backed by the government should try to set up academies or centres of their own to inspire the youth.

Mariyappan, who won a gold in high jump at Rio Paralympics, donated Rs 30 lakh of his 2 crore prize money to a government school in Tamil Nadu.

“It’s a great thing, a great step taken by Mariyappan, this will inspire others. I think all athletes who are helped by the government can try to set up academies or sports centres of their own. This will definitely inspire one and all,” Goel said after the launch of online portal of SAI-AIFF Overseas Scouting Project.

Mariyappan hails from Periyavadagampatti, a village located 50 km from Salem in the western part of the state.

The sports ministry last week said it has started a “thorough review” of India’s dismal outing at the Rio Olympics and is also seeking feedbacks and suggestions from the athletes who competed in the quadrennial extravaganza.

“It has just started. It will take time and as you know I have sought feedbacks and suggestions from the athletes. I have written to and mailed all the athletes about this. I am personally going to meet them and talk to them in this regard,” Goel said.

India finished with a disappointing tally of two medals at the Olympics.