‘India should focus on sports of core competence for Olympics’

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New Delhi, March 21 (IANS) Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said India should concentrate on sports of core competence to produce better results in international events like the Olympics, according to a government statement.

He said that past experiences have shown that a country cannot excel in all sports. Jaitley said a focussed approach on sports of core competence such as hockey, wrestling, archery, badminton, boxing and shooting has yielded better results for the countries all over the world.

Jaitley also said an adequate infrastructure is needed for creating talent and a system has to be created where the government and sports federations compliment each other to create infrastructure at least up to the district level.

He was speaking at a conference of ministers of States/Union Territories in charge of Youth Affairs and Sports here.

He urged the sports federations to professionalise their structure for better management of sports in the country.

The minister said Delhi has adequate infrastructure due to various international events held in the past but pointed out that they are underutilised.

Sports minister Sarbanand Sonowal said that the Union budget has provided funds for innovative schemes, particularly aimed at promoting sports in the North East region of the country.

Sonowal added that his ministry is hoping to channelise the youth of Jammu and Kashmir to join mainstream sports disciplines.

He also hoped that the ‘Target Olympic Podium’ (TOP) Scheme – an initiative to identify medal prospects for the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games – will yield the desired results.

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