Narang optimistic about country's sports future

Aug 09, 2012, 08:15 IST | Swapnal Tilekar

"The only way to hoist your flag in foreign countries without winning a war is by performing in sports!" London Olympics bronze medallist Gagan Narang said yesterday.

A grand procession at Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi held in Narang’s honour saw participation of hundreds of fans. 

Gun for Glory, the shooting academy established by Narang and where he practised before Olympics, held a grand felicitation ceremony in his honour.

Bronze guy: Gagan Narang shows his medal to the crowd. Pic/Ashish Pol

“Winning medals in big events is a process which takes place gradually and this will happen only if India develops a sports culture. I find it very essential to include sports in school curriculum. The government should support sportspersons.

They should be given good employment so that they can concentrate on sports. Getting sponsorship is very difficult these days. If the government can help players obtain them, I do not see any reason why India cannot fetch more medals at Olympics and other big events,” Narang said.

Narang said he was optimistic about participating in the next three Olympics and about the future of youngsters training at his academy.

“I intend to create several such academies all over the country so that more and more kids can take up this sport and fetch medals for India. During my off time, I love dining with the kids here, which is a big stress buster. I make it a point to speak to them,” Narang said.

State Sports and Youth Welfare Minister Padmakar Valvi, who was present at the felicitation ceremony, said the government will extend th contract with Narang’s shooting academy for the next five years.

“Also, the government will roll back the proposed 10 per cent rent hike for the academy and other sports academies. We will cooperate with them as much as possible,” Valvi said. 

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