India’s ace billiard player Pankaj Advani gives a scathing opinion of India’s sports policy as he believes that athletes are not the center of focus for the policy makers.
He believes that athletes need to be the priority which is not the case in our country. He feels that India has still not reached this stage but will need to do so in the very near future.
He recently met up with the Union sports minister Vijay Goel to discuss certain issues regarding the Sports Authority of India.
“All I can tell you is that sportsperson has to be the centre of focus in sports policy and in India we have not reached that stage,” Advani told PTI on Wednesday.
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“Lot of times, athletes have to go after authorities and chase them whereas they should be left alone to concentrate on their game. There should be others to facilitate whether it’s the federation or the SAI or the coaches. We are yet to reach that stage,” the 16-time world champion said.
“There are a few things, which I would not like to discuss right now as they are sensitive. The sports minister has promised to help. I will still have to co-ordinate with his office and give them all the details so that things can be streamlined going ahead.”
“Here’s a sport in which we are doing so well and we have medal prospects. We need to put an effort to include in quadrennial Games. Sports minister said that he will speak to IOA and write to them and follow-up.”
The 16-time world champions was also asked about what else is left for him to achieve in his sport.
“Definitely there are times when you feel complacent. There are times, I tell myself, what I have achieved is enough in life. Just take it easy,” said Advani when asked what else is left for him.
“I go back to the reason why I started playing the sport. It is because I loved playing it and I loved competing. It gives me a reason to look forward to something everyday.
“It’s not about results, stats – just probably a simple fact that I want to go out there and express myself. Because it transports me to another world free of my worries,” he put it eloquently.
“It’s not about how good you are on your good day but it’s all about how good you are when you are not playing well. To win with your ‘B’, ‘C’ or ‘D’ game. That’s what I want to master,” said Advani.
“It’s like answering a test paper when questions are not easy. Similarly in sport how you come out of it when you are in a spot of bother is what makes you a great player and a champion.”