New Delhi: In what could virtually silence critics who questioned his nomination to the Rajya Sabha, Sachin Tendulkar is already using his clout to rope in sports goods major Adidas to build world-class facilities in the country.
The cricketing legend, who had recently written to the human resource development minister Kapil Sibal and sports minister Ajay Maken has, apparently, convinced the German brand to support his vision for revamping the country’s sports infrastructure. The veteran cricketer was sworn in as a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha, amidst mixed reactions, on June 4 this year. In his letter, and a powerpoint presentation, Tendulkar has proposed a three-tier intervention — at school, university and country level — to achieve sporting excellence.
According to his letter, a copy of which is with , Tendulkar, on his recent visit to Germany, had solicited support from the worldwide head of the brand. “Adidas has built some of the most outstanding sports facilities. I have seen inside their premises and I am delighted to say that I have been promised all support at implementation stage,” the missive states.
The Master Blaster, who had written in his capacity as a Rajya Sabha member, has proposed a three-tier structure to achieve sporting excellence. Drawing on the American and English example, he has pushed for developing sporting facilities in colleges and universities.
“The sporting facilities at universities like Loughborough in the UK or the University of Toronto in Canada has nurtured many an Olympic Champion… My dream is to accomplish the same in India,” the letter states. Adidas has promised to support this dream.
Tendulkar has justified his pitch for achieving excellence in sports in the context of India’s impressive performance at the London Olympics.
“It is time we stop being cynical and stop parading the clichéd line that six medals for a billion people is just not good enough. Rather, it is time to celebrate the initiation of a sport culture in the country and celebrate the groundwork created at London for a fundamental overhaul of India’s sporting infrastructure,” the letter further states.
In his proposal, Tendulkar has also pitched for the introduction of sports as a subject of study in schools, overhauling sports facilities in higher education and creating centres of sporting excellence and a National Institute of Sports Science.