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Federal Sports Minister Gosal Says He’s Proud To Be The Longest Serving In His Portfolio

Asked to touch upon the controversial South Asian sport of  Kabaddi, Gosal said they will not bring back the earlier Jason Kenney instituted special Kabaddi visa, which was abused by local Kabaddi clubs, who used it as a cash cow to bring illegal immigrants to Canada for big bucks. The visa was unceremoniously revoked following widespread abuse.

By R. Paul Dhillon

SURREY – Canada’s current Sports minister Bal Gosal is proud that he is one of the longest serving sports ministers and that he has greatly enjoyed his time in the portfolio which looks after amateur and high calibre sports as well as pushing Canadians to become active in their daily lives.

“I took over as Sports minister on May 18, 2011 and it’s been a lot of fun,” Gosal told the LINK Wednesday afternoon during his visit to BC this week to announce federal funding for Sports Centres.

Gosal immigrated from India to British Columbia in 1981 but who now lives in the Indo-Canadian hub of Brampton, Ontario with his wife Pawanjit and their three.

An active sportsman himself, having played soccer and football when he was young, Gosal said his main focus is how he can improve the sports environment in Canada and help athletes excel.

“Our focus is always on promoting sports and physical activity for all Canadians and particularly the young generation as they will become the great Canadian athletes of the future and its our job to provide them with facilities and training to do so,” said Gosal, who earned his Bachelor of Science degree from DAV College Jalandhar, Punjab University in India and moved on to a successful career in the financial sector for McDonnell Douglas Canada, Prudential Insurance, Goodison Insurance and Financial Services, and Rai Grant Insurance Brokers.

Gosal said he works tirelessly to promote and advance the mission of Sport Canada and that his Ministry’s many initiatives have been advanced to enhance Canada’s sporting experience. These include developing the federal sport policy in Canada, providing funding programs in support of sport, and working with partners to move sport initiatives forward.

Gosal said he is delighted to have had the honour of personally cheering on our Canadian athletes during the 2011 Pan and Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games, and the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, as well as at numerous national and international sport events hosted in Canada.

Gosal said he recognizes and promotes the fact that sport and other types of physical activity are important for the mind, body, and soul and that an active lifestyle leads to a longer, healthier, and happier life.

The Minister recently declared 2015 as the Year of Sports in Canada as the country prepares to host two big international sporting events – The Women’s FIFA World Cup this summer and the Pan-Am Games in Toronto starting on July 10.

Asked to touch upon the controversial South Asian sport of  Kabaddi, Gosal said they will not bring back the earlier Jason Kenney instituted special Kabaddi visa, which was abused by local Kabaddi clubs, who used it as a cash cow to bring illegal immigrants to Canada for big bucks. The visa was unceremoniously revoked following widespread abuse.

But Gosal, who has been involved with the sport since 1984-85, said he is encouraged to see the various Kabaddi federations across Canada get their act together by setting up a system so that the sport can grow and thrive in Canada and not necessarily depend on bringing players from India.

“Kabaddi has to become a street level sport for it to grow and prosper and get to the next level,” said Gosal.

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