Eyeing medals at 2024 and 2028 Olympics, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore announces new initiative for 8-10 year olds

<p>Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore looking far ahead into the future, as far as the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore looking far ahead into the future, as far as the 2024 and 2028 Olympics
Abhishek Arora

What’s the story?

Catching any sportsperson young is most important for future success and Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore is well acquainted with this fact. On Sunday, he said that a new initiative will be set up for the 8-10 year age category with a goal to bag more medals at the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games.

In case you didn’t know…

Rathore is a dynamic figure and ever since he became the Union Sports minister, there has been a meteoric increase in attention being paid to youngsters.

He made his intentions crystal clear right from the word go when the Khelo India School Games were launched. A phenomenal improvement in infrastructure has also been seen ever since Rathore took charge.

The young 15-year-old shooter from Karnal, Anish Bhanwala and 16-year-old youngster from Jhajjar, Manu Bhaker are living examples of this. Manu won two gold medals at the ISSF World Cup and one at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Bhanwala, on the other hand, became the youngest Indian to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games at a tender age of just 15.

The heart of the matter

After the success of the Khelo India School Games, Rathore has turned his attention to nurturing far more younger talent.

“After the success of Khelo India where 16-year-old players participated, we are going to start a new initiative. This year, we are going to find talent in the 8-10 year category. We will find talent in every nook and corner of the country to identify the best prospect.

"We will be targeting around 1 crore kids and out of those, we will identify 20,000 talented ones. We will perform the DNA and IQ test of these kids to find talent for 2024 and 2028 Olympics,” he said at the opening ceremony of Khasdar Krida Mahotsav.

There will be twenty games at the Khasdar Krida Mahotsav, spanning across a period of twenty days. The mega event will feature a prize money of Rs 62,82,200. Over twelve thousand people were present in the gathering and witnessed Akshay Kumar kickstarting the event.

What’s next?

Khelo India provided a huge platform for thousands of children to get noticed and this announcement only brings in more good news as it promises to change the fortune of a plethora of youngsters. Countries such as China and Japan are far more successful at the Olympics due to the sole reason that they have a tremendous youth set up and substantial attention is paid to the children early on.

Author’s take

The former silver Olympic medalist, Rathore has been pivotal in the rapid transportation of the Indian sports scenario at the grassroots level.

Steps like these will change the mindset of Indian parents as well. If their children perform well at such events, they will be motivated to support them, thereby making it easier for the children to pursue the sport. India just won two medals in the 2016 Rio Olympics and monumental changes are required if the country wants to increase these numbers and it is good to see that we finally have someone bringing them.

Edited by Sagnik Kundu


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