What’s the story?
Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Thursday said that from 2020 onwards, the government will implement the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) in the junior level to encourage participation of youngsters in sports.
In case you didn’t know...
The TOPS scheme is a flagship program by the Sports Ministry to offer financial assistance to India's top athletes. The TOPS sponsored athletes – PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik - gained success at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The scheme’s idea is to increase India’s medal tally in global events by providing the athletes with all they need for the preparations.
The heart of the matter
"From this year we are going to start Junior TOPS. We will start funding the juniors in the age of 12,13, 14, 15," he said.
"The parents need not worry about taking care of the child who is interested in sports. If we see potential the government will definitely take care of them," Rijiju said during the book launch of 'Dreams of a Billion - India and the Olympic Games co-written by Boria Majumdar and Nalin Mehta.
Rijiju also said that India’s visibly absent sports culture will get a new life by the government’s new programs like the Khelo India Youth Games.
A lot of people in India do not take up sports due to lack of financial assistance and also because most sports do not pay well. But with the junior TOPS scheme coming soon, we can hope that India marches another step closer to becoming a multi-sports playing nation.