India's sports minister leads kabaddi's Olympic dream

India take on Sri Lanka at 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang. © Indian Express
India take on Sri Lanka at 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang. © Indian Express

New Delhi, India, April 28, 2020: Indian Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has called on all Asian countries to come together to push for kabaddi’s inclusion in the Olympics.

Rijiju was addressing over 700 kabaddi coaches from all over India and other countries including Malaysia and South Korea at the Online Coaches Knowledge Enhancement session organised by the Sports Authiroty of India on Monday, April 27.

“Kabaddi has already been included in the Asian Games and now, not just India, but all Asian countries must come together to ensure that the sport is included in the Olympics as well. That is our ultimate goal,” Rijiju remarked.

“And to achieve that goal we must improve the standard of the game in India and also ensure that we propagate it across geographical locations in India and the rest of the world,” he added.

Kabaddi has been an Asian Games sport since Beijing 1990 with women included since Guangzhou 2010. India has dominated both men’s and women’s competitions but, at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, Iran won both gold medals.

Rijiju hailed the success of the online workshops for coaches that the Sports Authority of India has been organising for National Sports Federations across the country which is in lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Every day about 8,000 coaches from 20 sporting disciplines are participating in these workshops and upgrading their knowledge about their sport. In the present times this is the largest exercise in the sporting world. I am very proud and happy that this could be achieved,” Rijiju said.

“I am sure we will win the battle against COVID-19 and we would soon be able to go back to the ground to train and play but, until that happens, we will take advantage of the technology available to us. 

“It is very important to keep ourselves updated about national and global practices and rules of a sport. Rules and regulations keep changing and those who do not update themselves will be left behind. We often lose out to teams from the Western world because they are far ahead in terms of knowledge about the rules. But with these sessions I am sure we will not be left behind,” he added.

Source: ANI