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No room for political meddling in C'Wealth Ga1mes selections: Govt

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, May 18 (UNI) The Government will soon launch an ambitious plan to reach out to sports talent among 37 crore children in the country, especially in view of the coming Commonwealth Games.

Announcing this in the Rajya Sabha today, Minister for Panchayatiraj and Youth Affairs and Sports Mani Shakar Aiyer also asserted that no political interference will be tolerated in the selection of sportspersons for the Games.

''The emphasis will be on sheer merit,'' he added.

The Minister said unless concrete efforts were made to reach out to the young people, especially in rural areas, the country cannot make its mark in the highly competitive world of sports.

He also appealed to the corporate world to contribute generously for promotion of sports, ''which ultimately generate good business for them,'' prompting Member of the House and noted hotelier Lalit Suri to announce ''substantial amount of money for the purpose''.

The Minister said that at present there were three major sources for funds for training--National Sports Federation, National Talent Search and Training Scheme and National Sports Fund.

But, these were not enough and participation of the private sector in the task was necessary, he added.

The Minister said the scheme Panchayatiraj Yuva Shakti Abiyan will put special emphasis on rural sports talent.

Replying to supplementaries, he said it was sad that sports aid to states had been stopped since 2005-2006, but now they will be helped in promoting sports through the Abhiyan.

The Apex Committee of the Ministry will ensure that players were helped financially and given sufficient incentives so that they could concentrate on their game, he said.

UNI NAZ MSJ DB1457

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