Give sports its due place in academics, says Gill

July 29th, 2008 - 10:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Pune, July 29 (IANS) Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports M.S. Gill Tuesday pleaded for due place to sports in the academic system of the country. In Pune to inspect Shri Shiv Chhatrapati Sports City, the Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG) venue, along with CYG organising committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi, Gill said the only way to win medals is by inculcating sports culture in the country.

“All our focus is on numbers scored in exams. Not even an hour is devoted to sports in our schools and colleges. We have to highlight the advantages of sports - sports improve the personality of a child, impart good health and spirit of competitiveness in children,” Gill told reporters here.

In the backdrop of detection of doping cases in the recent past, the sports minister said, the ministry is all out to strengthen the credibility of the National Anti- Doping Agency (NADA).

“In the three months that I have been in office, I have brought in more technical people in NADA with a view to ensuring worldwide credibility to the body,” he said, adding that his office has resolved to implement a zero tolerance policy for doping and that the ministry will monitor athletes at every step.

On India’s prospects in the forthcoming Beijing Olympics, Kalmadi said: “India might get a couple of medals this time but with the sports ministry allocating Rs.7 billion for training of athletes for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, Indian athletes should get a bagful in that event and in the 2012 Olympics in London.”

Kalmadi further said that the teams for the CYG will be announced after the Olympic Games.

Gill seemed pleased with the Balewadi Sports Complex and termed it as the best sports facility in the country. “What I am concerned with is the use of the facility after the games. We must make good use of this investment by holding more international events here and using the facility for training athletes,” he said.

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