Sports Minister reacts to boxers' complain, seeks SAI report

Updated: 02 December 2008 10:32 IST

With Sports Minister MS Gill deciding to redress their grievance, women boxers in the country can look forward to better facilities at their camps.

New Delhi:

With Sports Minister MS Gill deciding to redress their grievance, women boxers in the country can look forward to better facilities at their training camps.

A day after world champion M C Mary Kom complained about poor training facilities in Sports Authority of India's Hissar centre, Gill on Tuesday sought a report from SAI Director General Sayan Chatterjee on how to make things better in the camps.

"I read that they had problems in having camp in Hissar where the mercury soars in summer. I'll look into the matter. The SAI Director General is going for a three-day tour. Within 10 days, he'll submit a report and I'll see how can I correct that," Gill said.

"They need better practice facilities and in better climate," he added.

The Minister had called four-time World Championship gold medallist Mary Kom and bronze medallist L Sarita Devi to his residence.

"Boxing is not exactly an Indian sport but I'm impressed that girls are coming forward despite gender difference and other problems," Gill said.

The minister insisted that he is working hard to improve the condition of sports like football, volleyball and boxing in the country which are struggling to find feet amid cricket's dominance.

"Cricket can take care of itself, they don't need anything from me. The government policy is to promote games which are inexpensive. It should be cheap enough so that everyone can afford it and play on any surface -- beach, mountain or forest, like football, volleyball, basketball, athletics and boxing," Gill said.

"For instance, take long-distance running for instance -- runners from Kenya or Ethiopia win because all the time they are either running into a civil war or running away from it," he quipped.

The Minister also took a dig at newspapers for giving the majority of their print space to cricket, while completely ignoring other sports.

"In my childhood days, newspapers used to have sports pages. These days they have only cricket pages -- probably 10 of them," he lamented.

Topics : Boxing Olympics 2012
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