Rajyavardhan Rathore’s advice to juniorsOctober 14, 2018
For once, it was not a politician speaking to a gathering but a sportsman interacting with his juniors as Rajyavardhan Rathore shared life experiences at a one-of-its-kind Athlete Development Programme workshop here on Saturday.
The Sports Authority of India-organised one-day event for elite sportspersons was the first step in making the athletes more aware about their responsibilities, duties and rights. And Sports Minister Rathore fell back on his own sporting career to highlight the challenges.
“I first saw a shooting range at the age of 28 and won an Olympic medal six years later.
“Everyone said I was mad, a sports official wrote I was good for nothing and a police officer made me wait for seven hours for an arms licence despite me being an Army officer.
“For you, the possibilities are immense and nothing is impossible,” Rathore said, addressing the gathering that included shooters like Ravi Kumar, Ankur Mittal and Anish Bhanwala, boxers and cyclists among others.
“Things have changed, now you have an environment where you can plan much ahead. At 16-17 years, we neither had such support nor ambition. When we first saw the Asian Games on television in 1982, we did not even dare to dream of being there one day,” he said.
Explaining his competitive spirit, Rathore revealed that it first came during his NDA days. “I was 40th in the Order of Merit and suddenly the 39 above had a different swag. That’s when I realised it was important to win big and went on to get the Sword of Honour at IMA.
“I am thankful to all those who pushed me down at various stages of my sporting career because they all fuelled my rise, else I would have been satisfied with whatever I had and not break out,” he said.
Rathore also said results in competition boiled down to years of practice. “How you prepare for an event is very important. Even now, someone somewhere in the world is training. The real test will be when you face off — that’s when how smartly, scientifically and hard you train will decide your destiny,” he said.
The workshop also included sessions on media interaction, contract management, communication and etiquette and anti-doping measures and precautions with SAI DG Neelam Kapur confirming that more such workshops would be held across the country at various SAI regional centres for the benefit of athletes.