Abhinav Bindra world sport was at such a competitive level where professionals were needed to handle everything as they knew how to run sports and take decision © Getty Images (File Photo)
Abhinav Bindra world sport was at such a competitive level where professionals were needed to handle everything as they knew how to run sports and take decision © Getty Images

Kolkata: Olympic champion shooter Abhinav Bindra on Sunday said government should not be in the business of sports as it’s neither their job nor can they do it well. “The government should really not be involved in the business of sports because it’s not their job. They can’t really do it well,” Bindra said at a session on sports at the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet (TSKLM). He said world sport was at such a competitive level where professionals were needed to handle everything as they knew how to run sports and take decisions. “The government is doing whatever they can do. They have their own way of functioning, audits, accounting processes which takes time and unfortunately all athletes do not have time. Funds should come when needed. It is not the ideal situation,” the shooter said.

On whether things have changed in the last 6-7 years, he said “we have made progress.”  “The government has increased funding. For example shooting gets more funding and rightfully so because we have won medals,” he said. Bindra recalled that when he was in the sports committee, one of the politicians said the age limit for the president of sports body should be increased to 95.

“I do not have any problem with that if politicians want to stay but we should have paid CEOs running the bodies professionally,” he said. Bindra, who had won gold in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, said competing at the Olympics was a very draining experience  “To win a medal I have to give everything. I am not really talented. I needed two years to recover,” he said adding that he was not an athlete and the only talent he had was hard work.

Recalling his pre-Beijing days, Bindra said it was difficult for him because there was nobody whom he could look upto. “There was no knowledge available on the sport in India. It was all trial and error. All that has changed now. My first match had 300 participants and the last one had 4000,” he said. Admitting that he used to be fat as a boy, he said he liked shooting because he didn’t have to move his body.

“Now I run 10 km five times a week. Things have changed,” he said. On sporting culture in India he said, “India doesn’t have a culture of sports and we need to actively work on it if we want a hundred medals at the Olympics.” When asked at the discussion in the literary meet about whether India is better in individual sports, Bindra said “we are good at skill sports.” “We have a natural gift of hand and eye coordination,” he said.