India's Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju Image Credit: PTI

New Delhi: Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju on Sunday said the people have 'very limited' knowledge about sports other than cricket in the country.

"Knowledge of sports in this country is very low. People just know about cricket. The knowledge of other sports is very limited. Everybody knows cricket in this country. Even a youngster knows the cricket analogy. We have forgotten the Olympic sports. We should understand other sports," said Rijiju at FICCI's webinar on 'Corona and Sports: The Champions Speak."

Referring to the instance that happened last year, Rijiju said the people make a baseless comparison without knowing the technicalities of the game.

"Someone had clicked a video of a boy running in Madhya Pradesh. It was then posted on social media. People started comparing him with Usain Bolt. I could have chosen to ignore this, but I sent my Sports Authority of India (SAI) team to call that guy into SAI training centre in Bhopal," he said.

"We got him tested. He could not even compete with junior athletes there. He was not able to run even for thirty seconds. He was 26-27 years old," added the minister.

In another incident in February, Srinivasa Gowda, a Kambala jockey, set the new record as the fastest runner in the history of the traditional sport as he covered 145 meters in 13.62 seconds at the Kambala competition. He became the overnight sensation.

On the pursuit of making India a future sports hub, the Minister said that from 2021 he will organise an annual game competition at the state and district level.

"From next year, I want to organise games regularly at state and district level. I do not mind giving funds from my pocket. It is very important to hold these games, which can be the breeding ground for young athletes," added Rijiju.