IOA welcomes sports ministry's decision

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{image-hockey thotta padam_24042008.jpg www.oneindia.com}New Delhi, Apr 24: As the Indian hockey went through a series of disasters this week, the Sports Ministry's decision to include the national game in its ''priority'' list has been welcomed by the IOA saying the move will give a thrust to the game.

''The Sports Ministry has put hockey, football, volleyball and swimming in its priority list and I am happy with the decision as these are important disciplines of sports in India,'' Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Suresh Kalmadi told mediapersons here today while inspecting the Thyagaraj Sports Complex. ''I spoke to Mr Gill in the morning yesterday and in evening he took the decision. The respective Federations will get more international exposure with this move,'' he added.

Kalmadi further stressed that the 2001 National Sports Policy needs to be activated and even the newly elected Sports Minister MS Gill has also made it clear that the respective federations should enjoy autonomy in their functioning.

The IOA president was of the view that even the Hockey Federation should induct youngsters in the management and technical aspects.

''I said yesterday that the federations should have more youngsters in their ranks and Mr Gill also agreed to it. When I say every federation, it includes hockey as well,'' Kalmadi said.

As the countdown for 2010 Commonwealth Games has already begun, Kalmadi seemed satisfied with the progress of the construction of Thyagraj Sports Complex, which will host the netball competition in the Games.

''The infrastructure work for the Games is going ahead of schedule and we will hand-over this venue to the Organising Committee in September 2009.

''I am particularly happy that all the building material used in this project are according to the green specification because the 2010 Games will be 'Green games','' he said.

The estimate sanctioned for the indoor stadium is Rs 2.97 billion, and will be a training-cum-competition venue during the 2010 Games.

UNI

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