New comprehansive policy only remedy for Indian sports: Aiyar

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New Delhi, Mar 12 (UNI) Making a strong pitch for comprehensive national sports policy, Sports Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar today said, ''It is the need of the hour,to put the Indian sports back on the way to glory.'' ''India needs what Cuba already has in place -- a comprehensive sports policy which harmonises all dimensions, elements and aspects of sports development,'' the minister said.

His observations came after he heard the ''principle findings'' of a Cuban delegation.

The four-member delegation, comprising experts in physical education, sports management and physical culture, which concluded its 40-day tour of 34 cities, were in India at the invitation of the sports minister.

''In Cuba, working with 10,000 top performing athletes, drawn from schools, has already secured 56 Olympic gold medals. But the Cuban delegation could not provide a comparative figure for India,'' he said.

''So they have suggested that if we can reach out to 200 million school children and ensure they receive education and training in sports not only there will be improvement in health but also have large talent pool so that we can win top-10 places in all Olympic disciplines.

''They believe if we can put together a comprehensive national sports policy draft which integrates all dimensions of sports, we can do it with our trainers, our equipment and our institutions.

We don't need to go anywhere. We can do it here, ourselves, provided we have a coherent system.'' UNI HSB AB RK2046

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