Newly-appointed minister for Sports and Youth Affairs, Kiren Rijiju decided to take a unique step in order to understand issues related to Indian sportspersons and coaches. The young minister paid a visit to the Jawahar Lal Nehru stadium in New Delhi and headed to the athletes' mess for joining them at breakfast.
The official Twitter handle of Sports Authority of India (SAI) tweeted the video showing Rijiju at a table with athletes and coaches, having breakfast and also discussions. The tweet also mentioned the dishes that the minister decided to partake in. "Sprouts, eggs, corns & dalia was what he picked from the breakfast buffet and spoke to coaches and young athletes as he enjoyed his meal," the message in the post informed.
Kiren Rijiju had been the Minister of State, Home Affairs in the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance government from 2014-19. Against the anticipation of most people, the incumbent minister at the end of the term of the last administration, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, was replaced by Rijiju.
Sports Minister @KirenRijiju went to the athletes mess at JLN stadium to have breakfast with them.— SAIMedia (@Media_SAI) June 14, 2019
?Sprouts, eggs, corns & dalia was what he picked from the breakfast buffet and spoke to coaches and young athletes as he enjoyed his meal.@KirenRijiju @IndiaSports #KheloIndia pic.twitter.com/G2ixUVc6e2
The 47-year old minister hails from Arunachal Pradesh and is a self-confessed football fan. At the launch of one of the governments' sports-related programs, he even went to the extent of saying that if he hadn't been in politics, he would have become a sportsperson.
The venue chosen by the minister for his visit was both convenient and symbolically apt. The Jawaharlal Nehru stadium was the venue of the opening ceremony of the 2010 Commonwealth Games as well as the main venue for the track and field events. It also hosted the opening ceremony and the opening match of the 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup and is used as a home ground by Delhi Dynamos in the Indian Super League (ISL). Being located in New Delhi, it is also not far from the minister's residence.
With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics around a year away, Rijiju seems to be in a mood to hit the ground running. Hopefully, his hands-on approach would help the players and coaches during next year's biggest sporting extravaganza.