AFI chief Sumariwalla says Every sport in India already has several Sachin Tendulkars

Athletics Federation of India President Adille Sumariwalla on Wednesday said that every sports discipline in the country has athletes who can be compared with Sachin Tendulkar but they need right platform to showcase their talent.

Speaking about India’s chances at the Tokyo Olympics to mark the Olympic Day during a webinar organised by Sports For All, Sumariwalla said, “Every sport probably already has several Sachin Tendulkars. But each of them needs the right platform to showcase his or her talent (and become world champions).”

The Olympic Day was celebrated the world over on Tuesday.

He said that a holistic ecosystem in sport would bring medals in the long run.

“We need the best of both, hard and soft, infrastructure, especially at the grassroots level,” said Sumariwalla, who is also a vice president of Indian Olympic Association.

STAR and Disney India’s Deep Mukherjee, former CEO of CII’s Making India Play initiative, too spoke about a more bottom-up approach towards sport in India, encouraging children to play from an early age, without worrying too much about competition.

“Sport is as important as Math and Science. It plays a vital role in helping a child learn and grow. It is probably the most potent weapon in the rise of a developing nation like ours,” he said.