The Union Minister of Sports Kiren Rijiju confirmed on Tuesday that the sports ministry will assist and fund states in achieving excellence in “one or two sports” that they have adopted in sync with the ‘One State One Sport’ policy.
Rijiju made this comment in a meeting with sports ministers and senior officials of 18 states and union territories through video conferencing.
Representatives from Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Ladakh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttarakhand and West Bengal participated in what is the first of a two-day conference, the second leg of which will be held on Wednesday.
The states are advised to adopt sports in which they have been traditionally strong. Moreover, the minister also said that the Khelo India State Centre Excellence (KISCE) will be set up in each state.
“Our ministry will assist and fund the states in the endeavour to achieve excellence in one or two sports,” Rijiju said. “The KISCEs will become the nodal centre for a particular sport where athletes can be groomed at world-class facilities for Olympics. States can also choose to train athletes in other sports, including traditional sports, but the focus should be on one or two disciplines.”
The representatives of the states said that setting up of “1000 Khelo India Centres in all districts across the country will help to not just tap into local talent, but also create a culture of sport in the country.”
Rijiju further stated that the participation of states in various activities being held as part of the ‘Fit India Movement’ have been encouraging with more than 2.5 lakh schools across India are enrolling to become Fit India Schools.
“I request all state and UT governments to take active part in including all schools in their states and UTs to register as Fit India schools so that fitness becomes a way of life for youngsters,” he said.
(With inputs from IANS)