Just two days after being appointed as the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Rjayavardhan Singh Rathore made a surprise inspection at the Sports Authority of India offices at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the capital on Wednesday. He once again stressed that the facilities need to be the best if the country is to excel in sports. He further claimed the philosophy has to be – “athletes first” in a shift from the previous babu culture prevalent in sports bodies.
The 2004 Olympics silver medallist took to Twitter to share pictures of his surprise inspection at the JLN Stadium while also assessing the administrative processes in place. He wrote in his tweet, “Surprise inspection of SAI @ JLN stadium. Known faces,offices. Good not good enough when best needed. Athletes first philosophy must prevail”.
“My journey of coming to this ministry began at the reception downstairs (many years ago). I still remember how you have to take permission on paper to enter, it all started then. So I know as a player what hardships you have to face,” Rathore said after taking over from Vijay Goel at Shastri Bhawan on Monday.
“The philosophy of this ministry would be samman and suvidha. Respect for every athlete and facilities for every player who is representing the country. The environment and attitude in this ministry needs to change. There is only one VIP and that is the sportsperson and nobody else,” he added.
For Rathore and his administration, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games will be first things on the agenda. Further, Indian athletes will prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics under his tenure.