MUMBAI, FEB 10,
Anju Bobby George belongs to a generation in which aspiring athletes struggled for funding and infrastructure.
The Olympian, one of the jury members for the Sportstar Aces Awards, is therefore happy to notice a change in the scenario now. Young athletes are encouraged by a more helpful set of circumstances, contributing to a larger pool of sporting talent in India.
“It is a good thing for the country. Not just cricket, more and more youngsters are coming up in various disciplines. Be it athletics or table tennis, there is so much talent and this is a very good trend,” Anju said.
“Now we have a lot of support from the government and the corporate organisations, so that helps the athletes in preparing better. All the needs can be addressed smoothly and we have also got foreign coaches who are helping the athletes achieve success,” she noted.
The larger talent pool also signifies a much stronger competition. The five-member jury panel, headed by Sunil Gavaskar, kept this in mind while choosing the right candidates for the awards.
“It was easy to pick the right talent because their performances said it all. In some disciplines like racquet sport, the competition was intense and it got a bit difficult to make the right choice. But it was good see so many Indians performing so well consistently,” Anju said. Anju admitted that this year will be a crucial one for athletes. “With the Tokyo Olympics lined up next year, all the major events will be held this time around and it is important for the athletes to focus on their performances and deliver the goods consistently,” she pointed out.
“Their real challenge will be in the major championships and the youngsters are working really hard to achieve the goals,” she added.
MUMBAI, FEB 10,