Former South Africa cricketer Jonty Rhodes has said that young sportspersons will benefit from a platform like the National Games as they need the exposure to excel.
He was speaking as a special guest during the Table Tennis competition of the 37th National Games at Campal Indoor Stadium on Thursday. Also present were Hon. Sports Minister Shri Govind Gaude and other officials.
Rhodes said that it is exciting to see the prowess of Indian athletes at the Games.
“For so long, the focus in India has been only on cricket. We have seen the success of the men’s and women’s teams when they were given the opportunity. India has so many stars.
“The key thing that the sports minister is doing here is giving an opportunity to those stars no matter where they come from, and finding that talent yourself…ministers who are doing their job at the ground level. That’s where the future stars are found, and that’s important. We have seen the same in South Africa: good facilities, good schools and good coaches. So many people don’t get that opportunity early on,” he said.
Rhodes, who has made Goa his home along with this family and children, assured to give his support to development of sports in Goa.
“I am always here to support sports. I love sports, whether it is cricket or anything else. You need something to strive for. Sportspersons are always goal-driven, they need a target to reach for. We want to support activities, for children these days knowing them spending time on the screen. We want them to play sport.”
Extending a warm welcome to Rhodes as part of ‘Get, Set, Goa’ campaign, Gaude said, “Jonty Rhodes has made a big name for himself in cricket. We were eager to have him at the Campal Indoor Stadium. Being the Sports Minister of Goa, I am feeling really proud. It gives me great pleasure to welcome him to the Games.”