Government today acknowledged that the performance by Indian sportspersons was below potential and poor governance in sports, lack of professionalism and the absence of strong domestic competition were the key reasons for it. "It is true that the performance of our country in the field of sports has been below potential," union minister Kiren Rijiju said in the Lok Sabha. Replying to questions on behalf of Sports Minister Vijay Goel, he said some of the constraints that have led to this situation include among others, poor governance in sports due to lack of professionalism, absence of strong domestic competition structure, lack of strong talent identification and long-term athlete development system. Non-integration of sports with education at the school, college and university levels, inadequate support in terms of high performance coaches and other support staff, sports sciences and medicine etc., are the other key reasons for the poor performance of Indian sportspersons, he said. "There have been continuous efforts to address these shortcomings," Rijiju said. He said the government has notified the National Sports Development Code 2011 to ensure good-governance in sports. A number of National Sports Academies have been established in different disciplines like athletics, swimming, cycling, rowing, boxing, badminton, football and hockey, under which state-of-the-art facilities are provided to athletes. A strong competition structure has been created under the 'Khelo India' programme, which includes National School Games, National University Games, National Women Championship, National Rural and Tribal Games. The Government has decided to set up a National Sports University to build capacity in sports coaching, sports sciences, sports technology and sports management. In addition, Rijiju said, the Sports Authority of India was implementing the following sports promotional schemes across the country to identify and nurture talented sports persons including women in the age group of 8-25 years and nurture them to excel at national and international competitions.
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