Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the new world class synthetic track at the Usha (PT Usha) School of Athletics via video conference on Thursday. Speaking on the sidelines of the event he said that India’s attitude towards sport is taking a positive turn as people across the country are taking it up as a full-time career.
In his address, PM Modi said, “During earlier decades there was an environment in which sports was not pursued as a career. Now, this thinking has started to change. Soon the results will be evident on the playground. India has huge potential in sports. India is a sports loving country. The passion with which my young friends watch the ongoing Champions Trophy is the same with which they see the EPL football or NBA basketball fixtures and the F1 Races.
“We have no shortage of talent. But we need to provide right kind of opportunity and create an ecosystem to nurture the talent,” he added.
“A strong sporting culture can help the growth of a sporting economy. The sports industry sector provides chances in different segments such as professional leagues, sports equipment and surfaces, sports science, medicine, support personnel, apparels, nutrition, skill development, sports management among others.”, Modi said and added, “Sports is a multi-billion dollar global industry propelled by enormous consumer demand. The global sports industry is estimated at around USD 600 billion. In India, the entire sports sector is estimated at USD 2 billion only.”
In his address, Modi also urged the equal participation of women in sports across the nation. “Women in our country have made us proud by their achievements in all fields, more so in sports. We must encourage our daughters and provide them with opportunities to take up sports. What is most gladdening is that in the last Paralympics, our players showed their best performance ever.” he said.
He also spoke on the positive influence of the Paralympians and said, “Perhaps going beyond the sporting achievement, these Paralympics and the performance by our athletes have transformed our attitude towards our ‘Divyang’ sisters and brothers. I shall never be able to forget what Deepa Malik said when the medal was awarded to her.
“She said ‘Through this medal, I have actually defeated the disability itself’. There is a great strength in this remark. We have to work continuously towards creating a mass base for sports.”, Modi recalled.
Meanwhile, after wishing success to PT Usha for her new academy the Prime Minister also urged the sporting fraternity to formulate a set of goals when India celebrates 75 years of freedom in 2022.
“Our playgrounds and stadiums should be utilised to the maximum. Holidays should also be about going out and playing a sport. Grounds of schools and colleges or the stadiums with modern facilities in the district may be utilised,” he said.