XtraTime Web Desk: Some good news awaiting for the Indian athletes as the Honourable Sports Minister of the country is there with some kind words.
Indian athletes who take part in non-affiliated sports can now breathe easy. The Sports Ministry has stepped in and assured athletes and federations of non-affiliated sports who were selected to participate in the upcoming Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia that all expenses for their uniforms will be borne by the Ministry.
The Indian Olympic Association in a controversial move had first decided to include these sports to be a part of the next edition of the Asian Games and then asked the Federations to foot the bill for their ceremonial uniforms, as well as their training and competition kits.
The federations of sports like sambo, pencak silat, kursah, bridge, soft climbing, roller skating, soft tennis and sepak takraw can now breathe easy. TOI has learnt that after the controversial decision, Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore immediately swung into action and sent out a communication to the IOA that no athlete will have to pay for his/her kit. The Ministry has decided that any team playing for India will be provided all kits and apparel by the Ministry of Sports, GOI.
As per reports, the cost of a single uniform for the opening and closing ceremonies is Rs 10,910, while the training and competition kits, which are being designed by Chinese company Li Ning, will cost anywhere between Rs 18,000 to 22,000 per athlete.
The Ministry’s call to step in and bear the costs will no doubt be a huge shot in the arm for the 83 athletes who will represent the country in the eight non-affiliated sports at the Asian Games, which begin on August 18.