Mumbai: Maharashtra government has decided to approach the corporate sector to get additional financial assistance for the players preparing for next Olympics to be held in 2020.
"Maharashtra government's aim is 2020 Olympics. Our endeavour would be to ensure that a large number of players from Maharashtra take part in the next Olympics. We will provide them with all kinds of facilities possible," state Sports Minister Vinod Tawde told reporters here today.
He said though the government will try to financially assist these players as much as possible, it will also approach the corporate sector to provide them with additional financial benefits.
Tawde was speaking to reporters after felicitating participants of Rio Olympics from Maharashtra--Prarthana Thombare (tennis), Dattu Baban Bhokanal (rowing), Ayonika Paul (shooting) and long distance runners Lalita Babar and Kavita Tungar.
Later, Tawde interacted with the guardians of the athletes and inquired about their expectations from the government and the facilities required by them.
"This is for the first time that the athletes who took part in the Olympics have been felicitated by government. The players wanted the government to provide additional financial assistance to them and give them better facilities for their training.
"We want the Olympic trainees to present their 4-year plan before government. For this, we will hold joint meetings with the players, their guardians and their coaches so that preparations can be made in a better way," Tawde said.
He said the mindset of "first study then play" has to be changed, "as though studies are important, encouraging youngsters to engage in sports is equally important.