India should aggressively work towards creating a nation with sporting culture and promote sporting activity on weekends and indulge in more sports activities which has not happened in the country, Beijing gold medallist Abhinav Bindra said on Friday.
“We should aggressively work towards creating a sporting culture in the country, encourage weekend sporting activity rather than going for, say movies. We need to indulge in sporting activities. You don’t need to play competitively. And this has not happened,” Bindra said.
Bindra talked about his plan to train at home before moving out due to lack of sports infrastructure in the country. He added that India needs to set its aspirations about Olympics and train in the cycle.
“My plan A was to train at home but had to switch to plan B,” he said. “We must understand what Olympic sports mean to us, we need to clearly define our aspirations. For China, it was very important for them to make a statement and Olympic Games is one way of doing that,” Bindra said.
The shooter is part of the eight-member Olympic Task Force and he has given suggestions to the government on how to improve sports at grassroot level.
“We need systems in place, we still have a lot to do in grassroot level. We all talk about medals in multinational events, criticise after the Games but we don’t pay enough attention to grassroot,” he said.
He also stressed that adequate nutrition should be provided to athletes especially in villages where they get it way below average.
“That is a very vital element going forward,” Bindra said on the importance of nutrition.
“Indian shooting has a lot of depth in talent. It’s important to nurture their path, training them in the four- year Olympic cycle and I am sure that Olympic success will come if we follow this path.”