Catch them young to be our policy: Oscar

New Delhi, Nov 22 | Updated: Nov 23 2005, 05:50am hrs
Indias aim behind bringing big-ticket sports events like Commonwealth and Asian games to the country was to not only develop state-of-the-art infrastructure but to also nurture sporting talent.

Sports minister Oscar Fernandes, who took charge on Tuesday, said there was an abundance of talent in the country but it was imperative to provide the right environment and facilities to make a mark in international arena.

Listing his priorities, the minister said he would lay special emphasis on spotting raw talent and upgrading infrastructure.

By hosting these games, we can build more infrastructure which would ultimately help building more sportsmen. However, a lot of planning is required for this, he said.

Mr Fernandes said the focus would be to pick talented kids from rural areas and provide them facilities. We have a lot of talents in villages who go unidentified. So, catch them young will be our policy which can do wonders, he said.

To give his ideas a concrete shape, the minister said the existing format of rural sports would get more thrust.

Rural sports are there. But we have to make additional effort to improve the standards, Mr Fernandes added.

He indicated that the ministry would work out a 10-year plan to better the standard of Sports in the country.

The sports minister said apart from hosting the Commonwealth games in 2010, the government would try to get the Asiad and Olympics games to India.

The minister also said the government would try to woo industrial houses to employ more and more sportspersons.

We can involve every industry to employ more sportspersons, he said, adding that the sportsmen should be encouraged to play than do the routine official work.

Mr Fernandes said all the old schemes launched to give a boost to sports activity would continue. All the old schemes will continue. But improvisations should be done in these, he said.