'Let kids use govt school playgrounds in evening'

Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra and other sportsmen have advised the Delhi Dialogue Commission – the think tank of the Arvind Kejriwal government – to integrate sports with education and open government school grounds for the community in non-school hours.

The Delhi government was advised to draft a Delhi Sports Bill and promote sports through district and state-level authorities. 

Sportspersons like former tennis player Manisha Malhotra and  cricketer Aakash Chopra took part in a meeting on Wednesday chaired by commission’s vice-chairman Ashish Khaitan.

The Delhi government was advised to make optimal use of the infrastructure in the city to promote sporting culture.

The AAP government was also encouraged to map all the existing sports infrastructure and engage resident welfare associations to open up parks and open spaces for sports.

The group acknowledged that a model that involved schools was most likely to succeed.
Bindra favoured legislation like a Delhi Sports Bill to make district and state sports bodies accountable and transparent in their functioning.

Other experts at the meeting pushed for adopting international practices such as restricting the age and tenure of sports bodies’ office bearers, voluntary disclosures on sports authorities’ websites, bringing sports bodies under the ambit of Right to Information Act, and creation of state sports tribunal, athletes commission, ethics commission and election commission.

Greater involvement of sportspersons and professionals in the administration of sports was also suggested.

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