transformative nine years of sports

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as a player Reflecting on my journey in the 1970s and now being the first woman President of the Indian Olympic Association, I am overwhelmed with a deep sense of pride and satisfaction. Under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the phenomenal transformation that has taken place in Indian sports during the last nine years has been truly awe-inspiring. From transformative infrastructure development to focused training programs and increased fund allocation, our country has seen a phenomenal growth in sporting achievements.

One of the most remarkable aspects of this transformation in Indian sports has been the incredible performance of female athletes, especially from rural and underprivileged backgrounds. Despite facing various challenges, these women have displayed unparalleled determination and resilience. his remarkable success at the international level in sports such as athletics, hockey, badminton, table tennis, wrestling, weightlifting and boxing; They testify to their indomitable spirit and unwavering dedication.

Prime Minister Modi’s personal connect with sportspersons has been truly inspiring. Their unwavering support and genuine interest in the welfare of the athletes has developed a strong sense of trust and inspiration. The Prime Minister’s interactions with the athletes, his words of encouragement and his keen interest in the progress of the sportspersons have instilled a sense of pride and responsibility in the sports fraternity. This personal engagement; Has come a long way in boosting the confidence of Indian athletes and building a winning mindset.

The increase in the budget allocation for sports by the Government of India has been an important driving force for our success. Recognizing the transformative power of sports, the government has consistently accorded priority to the allocation of funds for sports, resulting in a qualitative increase in infrastructure creation, training programs and welfare of athletes. Enhanced financial support has provided athletes with the resources they need to compete at the highest level without financial constraints and has also ensured that their focus remains on achieving sporting excellence
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The Khelo India initiative has been instrumental in promoting sports culture and creating a strong grassroots base. The program has not only encouraged participation in sports but has also provided vital support and guidance to young athletes. Khelo India; By organizing inter-school and inter-college competitions, it has been successful in bringing out the hidden talents from every nook and corner of the country. The program has given young athletes the confidence and platform they need to dream big. The competition has kindled the passion for the sport and paved the way for future champions.

The Fit India campaign launched by Prime Minister Modi has played a catalytic role in changing the health and fitness landscape of the country. Emphasizing the importance of an active lifestyle, the campaign has inspired millions of Indians to take up sports and prioritize their health. This shift towards a fitter and healthier nation has directly contributed to the success of our athletes, as physical fitness is the cornerstone of sporting excellence.

The Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) is one of the most impactful initiatives to take Indian sports to new heights. The implementation of TOPS has been a game-changer, as it identifies, nurtures and guides the country’s best sporting talent. Through this scheme, athletes receive world-class training, exclusive coaching and financial support. The scheme has also ensured that they have all the necessary resources to excel on the global platform. Individualized attention and specialized training programs have undoubtedly played a significant role in the exceptional performance of our athletes.

Moreover, the establishment of National Center of Excellence (NCOE) has revolutionized the sports scenario in India. These centers offer state-of-the-art infrastructure, state-of-the-art training facilities and access to top trainers and support staff, etc. NCOEs have become centers of excellence, where athletes receive world-class training and are exposed to international standards. It has contributed significantly to the development of the players and has helped them realize their true potential. Prime Minister’s special focus on sports and Government’s holistic approach towards sports development has resulted in India achieving unprecedented success in international events. Our athletes have scaled new heights by winning medals and creating records in Olympics, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and World Championships. Indian sports is now respected globally and our athletes are seen as true champions.

I have always firmly believed that sports is a powerful tool for socio-economic development. Exposing young Indians to sports will improve their physical fitness and character building and will also contribute significantly to social reform and our human resource development. The Indian Olympic Association, along with the Hon’ble PM Narendra Modi’s government, which has just successfully completed its 9th year, is collectively working towards ensuring that our youth take interest in a variety of sports, so that we as a nation live up to the great Olympic ideal ‘Citius, Altius, Fortius’; That means get closer to the goal of faster, higher, stronger!

PT Usha

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