Sports Minister Rathore promises "best of opportunities"

The National Rifle Association of India welcomed the appointment of the 47-year-old as the new Sports Minister even as the former Olympian promised the “best of opportunities” will be provided to all sportspersons in the country.

The newly-appointed Sports Minister said the focus will be on winning medals at all levels.   -  PTI

Newly-appointed Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore on Sunday said “best of the opportunities” will be provided to all sportspersons in their endeavour to make India a strong sporting nation.

The 47-year-old said the focus will be on winning medals at all levels.

“Win medals at all levels — village level or at the Olympic level. Sports is a State subject so we will work together with the State departments to provide, like I said, best of the opportunities for the sportspersons,” Rathore told reporters.

The former world championship silver medallist added, “The most important thing is that the sportsman only has one challenge and that is to overcome adversaries, and enhance the level of their sports.”

When asked about the new education policy, he said, “The point is that education just doesn’t happen in schools and colleges. The education for life happens in sports grounds and that’s where we come in. The sports ministry and the states will provide the right opportunities for our youth, the future of this country, to make themselves physically and mentally more stronger,” said Rathore.

NRAI welcomes move

The National Rifle Association of India on Sunday welcomed the appointment of the former Olympic silver-medalist, saying the Olympics silver medallist would “add immense value to the development and growth of sports”.

“I want to lead the federation and the entire shooting fraternity in congratulating Shri Rathore on his appointment. He has been one of the most distinguished members of the shooting family for years and his stellar achievements speak for themselves,” NRAI president Raninder Singh said in a statement.

Rathore first stepped in a shooting range in the mid 1990s and some years later, he became India’s first ever individual silver medal winner at the Olympic Games. He stood on the podium after finishing second in the men’s double trap at the 2004 Athens Games.

Rathore replaces Vijay Goel as new Sports Minister

Lavishing praise on Rathore, Raninder said, “His work in the Union Council of Ministers had already come in for a lot of praise and we strongly believe that knowing first-hand the challenges faced by sports and sportspersons in this country, he would add immense value to the development and growth of sports. We wish him all the very best in his new responsibility.”

A year before he created Olympic history, Rathore had won a silver medal at the 2003 World Championships in Sydney.