Sportspersons the only VIPs, says new Sports Minister Rathore

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New Delhi, Sep 4 (IANS) Newly appointed Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore on Monday emphasised that the environment of his ministry has to change, saying the sportspersons should be treated as the only VIPs in the country.

“There is only one VIP and that is the sportsperson and nobody else. There is a requirement of shift in attitude,” Rathore told reporters after taking charge as Minister of State (independent charge) of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

“The environment in the ministry is required to be changed. The attitude should change towards sports and we all are included in it, when we see a player, how we see them, whether he is doing well in games or any other field,” the 2004 Athens Olympic silver medal-winning shotgun shooter added.

The 47-year-old emphasised on honour and facilities for all the sports personalities representing India.

“Honour and facilities for the players representing the country (will be on our agenda). Education is not only limited to the school and colleges. Sports in not just for entertainment — the kind of lessons that sports teaches helps one in learning how to spend their life and that will be our aim to find way for providing youngsters with a platform,” the three-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist said.

“We want sports to develop, sports personalities at grassroots level to develop. Every state should send their players, and the sports ministry will look after their facilities,” he added.

The Sports Minister said being a former sportsman himself gives him a better understanding of the problems the athletes have to face and he will work accordingly to eradicate them.

“My journey as a Sports Minister started right from the reception of the office. I remember how we need to take permission and papers from there to enter the office.

“I know as a player what problems one has to face. I believe the ministry has many good officers who have provided help not only to me but also many other athletes. (Now) The aim is to increase such players, the first citizen of the country is the sportsperson,” Rathore explained.

–IANS

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