“We have a responsibility to create a sports ecosystem that is globally excellent, inclusive, diverse and dynamic. No talent should be left behind”: PM Modi
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi felicitated the Indian contingent for the Commonwealth Games (CWG) 2022 in New Delhi. The felicitation was attended by both athletes and their coaches. Union Minister for Youth Affairs & Sports and Information & Broadcasting Shri Anurag Singh Thakur and Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Nisith Pramanik were among those present.
The Prime Minister congratulated the players and coaches for their stupendous performance at the Commonwealth Games 2022 held in Birmingham, where India bagged 22 Gold, 16 Silver and 23 Bronze medals in various disciplines. The Prime Minister welcomed the athletes and coaches and expressed immense pride in the accomplishments of India’s athletes at CWG 2022. The PM said that it is a matter of pride that due to the splendid hard work of the sportspersons, the country is entering into the Azadi ka Amrit Kaal with an inspiring achievement.
The Prime Minister highlighted that in the last few weeks, the country has accomplished two major achievements in the field of sports. Along with the historic performance in the Commonwealth Games, the country has organized the Chess Olympiad for the first time. Addressing the athletes, the Prime Minister said “while all of you were competing in Birmingham, crores of Indians were keeping awake till late night here in India, watching your every action. Many people used to sleep with alarms set up so that they remained updated on the performances.” The Prime Minister said as per his promise at the time of the contingent’s send-off that we are celebrating victory today.
Highlighting the great performance, the Prime Minister remarked that numbers do not reflect the entire story as many medals were missed by the narrowest possible margins which will soon be rectified by the determined players. He said that India has found a new way of winning in 4 new games as compared to last time. From lawn bowls to athletics, the athletes have performed phenomenally. With this performance, the trend of youth towards new sports in the country is going to increase a lot, the Prime Minister said. The Prime Minister also highlighted the achievements of the daughters of India in boxing, judo, wrestling and their domination in the CWG 2022. He said 31 medals came from the players who were making their debut indicating the growing confidence of the youth.
The Prime Minister said that the athletes have strengthened the resolve of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshta Bharat’ not just by gifting a medal to the country, but also by giving the opportunity to celebrate and to be proud. The Prime Minister added the athletes inspire the youth of the country to do better not only in sports but also in other sectors. “You weave the country in unity of thought and goal that was also one the great strength of our freedom struggle”, he said. Mentioning the galaxy of freedom fighters, the Prime Minister said that despite the variance in methods, they all had the common goal of independence. Similarly, our players enter the arena for the prestige of the country. The Prime Minister mentioned that the power of the Tricolour was seen in Ukraine where it had become a protective shield not only for Indians but also for the citizens of other countries in getting out of the battlefield.
The Prime Minister expressed happiness upon the players who emerged out of the Khelo India stage and had done extremely well on the international stage. He also mentioned the positive effect of TOPS (Target Olympic Podium Scheme) which was now being seen. The Prime Minister highlighted the need to intensify our efforts to discover new talent and take them to the podium. “We have a responsibility to create a sports ecosystem that is globally excellent, inclusive, diverse and dynamic. No talent should be left behind”, he stressed. The Prime Minister also acknowledged the role of coaches, sports administrators and support staff in the success of the players.
The Prime Minister urged the athletes to prepare well for the upcoming Asian Games and Olympics. On the occasion of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, the Prime Minister requested the athletes and their coaches to encourage children by visiting 75 schools, and educational institutions in the country, last year. The Prime Minister said that a lot of sportspersons had taken up this work and fulfilled it under the ‘Meet the Champion’ campaign. He also urged them to carry this campaign forward as the youth of the nation looks toward the athletes as role models. The Prime Minister said that “your growing recognition, capability and acceptance should be utilised for the younger generation of the country.” The Prime Minister concluded his address by congratulating the athletes on their ‘Vijay Yatra’ and wished them the very best for future endeavours.
The felicitation by the Prime Minister is a part of his continuous endeavour to motivate athletes that represent India in major sporting events. Last year, the Prime Minister interacted with the Indian athletes’ contingent bound for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the Indian para-athletes’ contingent for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Even during the Commonwealth Games 2022, the Prime Minister took a keen interest in the athletes’ progress and congratulated them on their success and sincere efforts, while motivating them to do better.