India prepared to host Olympics in 2036, abundance of sporting talent in country, declares PM Narendra Modi | Additional sports News


NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi affirmed on Thursday that this year’s sports budget is triple the size of the allocation made nine years ago and emphasized that India possesses an extensive pool of sporting talent and is fully prepared to host the 2036 Olympic Games.
PM Modi’s statement comes after India’s recent triumph in the world of sports with the nation securing a record-breaking 107 medals at the Asian Games in China.
The PM stated that the achievement will serve as a source of inspiration for young aspiring athletes.
In his speech after inaugurating the 37th National Games at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Margao, Modi opined that the Games are taking place in Goa at a time when Indian sports is achieving unprecedented heights.
“We have implemented changes in programs to offer financial incentives to sportspersons,” he stated.
India has an abundance of sporting talent, Modi remarked, adding that the country has produced numerous sports champions. “The country has produced champions despite deprivation, yet poor performance in the medal tally always rankled people,” he commented.
Modi referred to several significant measures taken by his government in the last 30 to 35 days, including the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill, India successfully completing a key test in the Gaganyaan mission, the launch of Namo Bharat trains of the Regional Rapid Transit System, and ‘Operation Ajay’ to facilitate the return of Indians trapped in Israel.
In the years after 2014, the Centre has established the necessary sports infrastructure, made the selection process for competitions more transparent, and introduced changes in financial schemes for athletes, he said. Modi stated that his government has worked towards removing obstacles in the progress of sports.
“The government has created a roadmap to bring players to the Olympics podium (to win medals). We can see the impact of it now,” he said.
The Prime Minister alleged that previous governments were hesitant to allocate sufficient budget for sports. “We have increased the sports budget. The sports budget for this year (2023-24) is three times greater compared to the allocated amount nine years ago,” Modi asserted.
The PM stated that the Union government has established a new eco-system to foster sporting activities in the country.
“Students from schools, colleges, and universities are being identified and trained in different disciplines. The government is providing financial support for their diet and training,” he said.
The Prime Minister stated that the country is reaching new heights in sports.
“We have seen it happening in the Asian Games, where the country broke a 70-year-old record (in terms of medal tally),” he said.
“Even in the (ongoing) Asian Para Games, Indian players have won more than 70 medals and broken all previous records. Before that, in the World University Games, India made history. These successes serve as motivation for all players who are here,” Modi said.
The PM stated that the National Games are a “strong launch pad” for young athletes and urged athletes competing in the multi-disciplinary competition to break old records. Reiterating that India is prepared to host the Olympics Games in 2036, Modi stated that the TOPS (Target Olympic Podium Scheme) initiative has been strategized to offer the best available training to athletes.
“India is prepared to organize the Youth Olympics in 2030 and the Olympics in 2036. Our aspiration to organize the Olympics is not limited to just emotions. Rather, there are solid reasons behind this,” he stated.
He said that in 13 years, India would be the world’s leading economic force. “Every India’s gross income would be much higher. We will have a substantial middle class. India’s tricolour would be fluttering from sports to space,” the PM affirmed.
“Under the Khelo India initiative, 3,000 youths are trained from across the country. Such an extensive talent pool is being prepared. They are awarded a scholarship of Rs 6 lakh per year. As many as 125 players from Khelo India participated in the Asian Games,” he said.
The PM stated that the development of sports is directly related to economic growth.
“When there is negativity in the country, it also gets reflected in performance in the sporting arena. India’s successful sports story is not different from the overall success story of India,” he stated.
Stating that the youth is at the core of the country’s development, Modi informed the gathering that a new platform named “Mera Yuva Bharat” will be launched on October 31.
The platform will connect youths from urban and rural areas with each other and also link them to the government, he said, adding “They will get an opportunity to take part in nation-building.”
“Our National Games are also a symbol of Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat (One India, great India),” the PM emphasized, noting it is a great medium for every state to showcase its potential in sports.
Modi underlined that India is breaking new records and progressing in every sector.
“It is difficult to match India’s speed and scale,” he asserted. He praised the preparations made by the Goa government and the people of the state for organizing the National Games. He said the sports infrastructure created here will be useful to the youth of Goa for many decades to come and the state will produce many new players for the country, while the infrastructure will be used for organizing national and international sports events in the future.
“In the last few years, modern infrastructure related to connectivity has been built in Goa. The National Games will greatly benefit Goa’s tourism and economy,” Modi added.
The Prime Minister said the National Games celebrate India’s exceptional sporting prowess and urged the participating athletes to give their best in every situation.
The National Games are being held in Goa from October 26 to November 9. More than 10,000 athletes from across the country are competing in over 43 sports disciplines across 28 venues.
Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, Goa Governor P S Sreedharan Pillai, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, Union Minister Shripad Naik and Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President P T Usha, among others, were present on the occasion.
(With inputs from PTI)

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