The Ministry of External Affairs is now taking initiatives to help in improving the performance of sportspeople. Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs who hails from Manipur, is pushing a proposal to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with sporting bodies of Australia so that ace aquatic coaches of that country can train Indian swimmers and sportspeople in various aquatic sports. The Minister is wanting the MoU to be signed by the National Sports University located in Manipur from the Indian side.
Talking exclusively to this correspondent, the Minister said that in during the first term of Prime Ministership of Narendra Modi, when late Arun Jaitley was the Finance Minister, the plan to set up a National Sports University in Manipur was announced.
“Now it is coming up and we have to strengthen the University and suitably train our sportspeople to get more medals in the next Olympics and other world class competitions to come”, Dr R K Ranjan Singh said, adding that in the North East, “we have many water bodies where swimming and other water sports can be practiced but our boys and girls are not yet making a substantial mark internationally.” He pointed that the world’s famous swimming champions are in Australia, and hence the plan.
“Through our Embassy, our High Commission in Australia, we can explore how MoU can be signed between Australian aquatic sports bodies and National Sports University, Manipur, so that their coaches can train our swimmers and other sportspeople in aquatic sports”, Dr Ranjan said, adding that he would also explore possibilities of signing MoUs in other sports disciplines between different foreign countries and National Sports University, Manipur.
“We can start with Australia in aquatic sports, then carry on to athletics and other disciplines”, he said, adding that he will discuss these issues soon with his senior cabinet Minister of External Affairs, S. Jaishanker.
It must be remembered here that India had sent a 228-member strong contingent including 127 participants in 18 sports disciplines to the just concluded Tokyo Olympics 2021. They included three swimmers, four sailors, and two sportspeople for rowing. Unfortunately, none could bring home any medal. The Minister is striving to bring a change for the better.
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