INDIA. New Delhi: On Sunday, Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju attended the New Delhi Marathon held at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, where he said that the country needs to make the marathon a culture and a popular event in the country. Rijiju also bestowed awards to the winners along with BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi.
In the event, Rijiju highlighted making the marathon a popular culture. He said that marathon, mini-marathon, half-marathon, and full marathon events should be organized from the grassroots level in rural areas, villages, towns, and cities.
Rijiju believes that marathons galvanize the whole force in society and apart from professional runners, common people should also take part in the marathons.
“Although this is a very successful event none of our runners could qualify for the Olympics because of certain reasons,” Rijiju said.
In a statement, Rijiju said that Tokyo Olympics-bound athletes will be given priority for the COVID-19 vaccine followed by other athletes. “If any player gets infected at this point in time it will really spoil their chances of competing in the Olympics,” he said citing the quarantine and medication the athletes would have to follow in case of infection hence prioritizing the athletes’ welfare.
Rijiju reassured that although the focus is on Olympics-bound athletes, the junior athletes will be taken care of immediately after their elite athletes.
When asked whether BCCI communicated for the vaccination, the minister said that their concern is all the sports and all the players but Olympic players need priority attention because of the time-bound communication they have with every sports federation. “Every federation is part of the fraternity and we are concerned about all the players,” said Rijiju. He also added that all the methodology being adopted by the health ministry need to be abided by.