MUMBAI: Ace shooter Abhinav Bindra today called upon the authorities to strengthen the grassroot programmes in various sports while giving emphasis on scientific training and sports science if the country wants to produce the world and Olympic champions in future.
Bindra, the country's lone Olympic individual gold medallist, said that "strong basics" picked up at a young age play a crucial part in top-class competitions like the Olympics.
"The most important is we lack grassroot programmes, strong grassroot programme where young people are encouraged and given adequate facilities. Because if you don't put in the right amount of work and the right amount of knowledge, right method of training at the beginning, when children start out at 8,9, 10 or 11, then it's very very difficult to achieve success at the highest level," he said at an event here.
"If you set wrong habits, set wrong patterns at the beginning, then when you are faced with a lot of pressure which comes with the Olympics, then your weakest link falls apart; it (the weakest link) comes to the fore.
"If you have strong basics, if you are able to set programmes which allow our young athletes to set a strong foundation or set a strong base, I think success will grow and we will get many more champions," he added.
Bindra, who had clinched a gold medal in 2008 Beijing Olympics, was speaking to reporters after launching 'Invincible Indians' campaign of Bajaj V in the presence of Bajaj Auto Managing Director Rajiv Bajaj.
Five good Samaritans were felicitated on the occasion.
Bindra said cricket will continue to be a "religion" in India but that does not mean that the country can't have other "religions".
On the importance of scientific training in sports, he said, "The role of sports science and technology cannot be ignored in today's times. If we want our athletes to compete
against the best in business, the best in the world, we have to give them at par facilities, which are very very important.
"Currently, they lack in our country. We are many years behind in terms of sports science and using technology. We have to find ways of to up that and come and create an environment where we at least are part of (the system)," he added.
He also said that the country has the adequate number of coaches who need to be empowered and given best exposure if they have to produce world beater athletes.
Asked about the views of National Rifle Federation that the country lack coaches in shooting, Bindra said, "I think, we have adequate number of coaches in shooting, the point I was trying to make is that we need to empower our coaches and get them exposed to best techniques in world and get them to par with what most advances that have been made in world of sports, sports science, sports medicine.
"So, I think we need to set courses and need to empower our own people. We Indians can make great coaches, expect that we need a little bit more exposure and need to set frameworks in place, which enables them to be best in the world," the ace shooter said.
Asked about his training academy set up recently in Chandigarh, Bindra said, "It has been very heart-warming, its been very very good in the last month. It has been thrown open to athletes, whatever small way that I can play a part. I am happy to that and looking forward to taking it further in future."