NEW DELHI: Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore was his optimistic self as the sports minister on Wednesday reckoned that India has the potential to produce 100 Usain Bolts if everyone comes together and pitches in to change the country’s sports culture.
Rathore spoke about the various efforts being made by the government to improve the selection process at the school level, such as the national-level talent hunts scheduled around May-June next year.
“In India there is skill based selections so other countries are able to out run us, we want to change that. “Someone who is 5 feet 11 inches at the age of 12 should be selected for volleyball or basketball teams while somebody with no hand-eye coordination but runs extremely fast should be put in for 100 metre running,” the sports minister said.
“I firmly believe that a country with 1.25 billion population has capability of producing 100 Usain Bolts,” said Rathore, who won a landmark silver medal in shooting at the 2004 Olympics.
He said the government’s focus was to promote sports among the school children, which will encourage them to participate at the regional and national level.
“We have for the first time got a sports broadcaster that will broadcast live the national school sports events. There is maximum audience at a school event but you have zero audience at a National event,” Rathore said.
The minster also called the private sector to partner with the government with new and innovative ideas to help towards the betterment of sports.
“We (government) have the funds and the raw materials, lets combine the two with the help of your (private sector) ability to operate things,” Rathore said.