SPORTS

Unleashing the transformative power of sport in India


Union sports minister Anurag Thakur and his predecessor Kiren Rijiju discussed the government’s vision on making India a sporting superpower.

Union sports minister Anurag Thakur (right) and Kiren Rijiju; (Photo by Chandradeep Kumar)

India won seven medals at the Tokyo Olympics, inclu ding a first-ever athletics gold medal. These historic feats, however, cannot take away from the fact that a country of more than a billion people ended up 48th in the medals tally. Union sports minister Anurag Thakur and his predecessor Kiren Rijiju discussed the government’s vision on making India a sporting superpower.

India won seven medals at the Tokyo Olympics, inclu ding a first-ever athletics gold medal. These historic feats, however, cannot take away from the fact that a country of more than a billion people ended up 48th in the medals tally. Union sports minister Anurag Thakur and his predecessor Kiren Rijiju discussed the government’s vision on making India a sporting superpower.

“The first issue is creating a sporting culture, from a ‘stopping culture’ to a sporting culture, from people’s participation to people’s movement. It is very important to nurture and infuse these kind of feelingsthere is a larger role to be played by the Centre, state governments, national sports federations, educational institutes and the private sector, including NGOs and corporates. Sports is a state subject”

“Our educational institutes need to promote a sports culture. If you look at universities in the US such as Stanford…one university accounts for a large share of the medals won by the US. How many universities in India are making that kind of contribution?”

– Anurag Thakur, Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting, Youth Affairs and Sports


“The impression is the athletes are suffering as the government is not doing enough. No other government spends as much money or is involved as much as the Indian government in sports. The government is not supposed to create sports infrastructure…it must be managed professionally”

“When an athlete wins a medal, only then will people celebratethat is why the Cheer4India campaign was started during the Olympics to involve the citizens. Cricket is successful here because people watch the game. When I was the sports minister, people used to ask me why we don’t promote other sports like cricket. The government doesn’t give money to cricket, it comes from the people. Until and unless people join the sports movement, we cannot turn into a sporting powerhouse”

– Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister for Law & Justice

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