PM Modi touts influence on changing sports culture and current success
PM Modi claims credit for transforming sports culture, citing modern successes
Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially opened the 37th edition of the National Games during a grand ceremony held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in South Goa. In his address, he emphasized the significant strides made in promoting sports and the establishment of a supportive ecosystem through centrally sponsored schemes.
Transforming the sports landscape
PM Modi highlighted the transformation in the government's approach to sports, stating that in the past, sports were often viewed as just a game with little investment. However, his government increased the budget for sports, tripling the central sports budget compared to nine years ago.
He acknowledged India's abundant talent in every corner of the country, yet the nation's medal tally in national sports events used to be a source of shame. In response, the government initiated a national program after 2014 to change this perception. Significant changes were made in sports infrastructure, financial support for players, and the overall approach to sports.
Building a new ecosystem
PM Modi highlighted the establishment of programs like "Khelo India" and the "Target, Olympic, Podium Scheme (TOPS)," creating a new ecosystem for nurturing talent. Schools, colleges, and universities now identify players with potential, and the government invests heavily in their training and diet. A substantial talent pool is being developed, with six lakh scholarships awarded each year.
The Prime Minister expressed his belief that sports success is intricately connected to India's overall success. He spoke about India's aspiration to host the Youth Olympics in 2030 and the Olympics in 2036. The National Games, with over 10,000 athletes participating from across the country, serves as a vital platform for nurturing up-and-coming athletes.