Not only NSFs, SAI needs to be made more accountable: Maken

Sports Minister Ajay Maken said he wants to make the SAI accountable along with the National Sports Federations.

New Delhi: Clarifying that the Government has no intentions of interfering in the functioning and autonomy of sports bodies, Sports Minister Ajay Maken on Monday said he wants to make the Sports Authority of India accountable along with the National Sports Federations.

"I have said earlier also that we would not like the government to be intrusive, we will ensure that any intrusive provision in the bill should be removed. We will also try to place some responsibility on SAI because it also needs to be accountable. It also has to play a very important role," Maken said.

"There is a lot of scope for improvement as far as SAI is concerned. So, it is not only the National Sports Federations only which we would like to give some targets but also to the SAI," he said after inaugurating the Hockey Training for children under "Come and Play Scheme" at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here.

The government had earlier constituted a committee headed by retired Punjab and Haryana High Court chief justice Mukul Mudgal and comprising former badminton ace Prakash Padukone and former athlete Ashwini Nachiappa to examine a legislation that seeks to bring in transparency and good governance in sports bodies in the country.

But earlier this month, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the NSFs had unanimously rejected the National Sports Development Bill with their representatives opposing the proposed legislation, saying that it was actually an effort by the government to take over the sports bodies in the country.

"My intention is to bring this bill in the monsoon session. Very soon Justice Mudgal committee is going to submit the report to the Government and as soon as the report is with us, I would personally look at what they have suggested and
accordingly move ahead," said Maken.

Having inaugurated the hockey training under "Come and Play Scheme" here, Maken informed that approximately 10,000 students have enrolled in various sporting disciplines in Delhi under this scheme.

"In this scheme, our aim is to bring the children to the sports fields. After the summer vacation is over, we are trying to work out a few models where we can tie up these stadia with the schools, so that these stadia can be utilized properly," he said.

Insisting that the Government`s intention is to utilize the infrastructure built during last year`s Commonwealth Games, he said the aim is to broad base sports in the Capital and in the nearby areas.

"Actually the aim is to make use of the infrastructure and broad base sports in Delhi and nearby cities. Secondly, we want to create Centre of Excellence in each of these stadia. And thirdly, we would want to conduct as many tournaments as possible in these stadia," Maken said.

Explaining, how the Centre of Excellence could help the athletes, he said, "With every Centre of Excellence we would like to have about 100-150 accommodation in place so that players can come here and stay here and we can provide them
with world class coaches in all these centres.

"We would also like the top athletes of the country coming and using these stadia. We think, this way we would optimally be able to use the infrastructure we had created for the CWG."
The Come and Play Scheme has attracted about 10,000 entries in total, which saw students enrolling maximum for cricket with 2400 entries, followed by football (1498), Swimming (1000) and Athletics (924).

Asked whether the number of cricket pitches offered all over Delhi under this scheme is less, considering the popularity of the game, Maken said, "For cricket we have provided nine pitches in the National stadium itself. We also have place at Vinay Marg and Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. If needed, we can work out more plans.
"But for cricket, there are a lot of academies and facilities available all over Delhi. We want to emphasise on those sports where there are not much facilities available. I am happy that about 350 students have enrolled for hockey and basketball. Even volleyball have got good response."


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