Sunday, January 16, 2011

Aussies keen to partner Haryana in sports training, business

Peter Varghese
Australian High Commissioner Peter Varghese at the opening of the Austrade office in Panchkula on Friday.

Impressed by Haryana’s sports power in the recently held Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, Australia is looking at big business opportunities here and has proposed opening specialised sports academies in the state in collaboration with the state government.
Australian High Commissioner to India Peter Varghese, who inaugurated an Austrade office in Panchkula today, said that he has expressed his interest in this regard to Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
“Nobody who watched the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games could fail to be impressed by Haryana’s performance. Developing the sports sector is high priority for the state, and Australia has considerable expertise in sports management. We have expressed our interest in setting up sports academies in Haryana, and are well-placed to work on such collaborations here,” said Varghese. 
Weak Hindi, strong liking for Biryani

Varghese, a 54-year-old Australian of Indian origin, sheepishly admits that he speaks “terrible Hindi”. His parents are Malayalis, and moved from Kerala to Kenya, where he was born. They later shifted to Australia. Varghese said he is fond of reading the works of Indian authors or those of Indian origin, his favourite being Salman Rushdie. Among the new crop of authors, he likes Vikram Seth, “though his works are rather long”. He is currently reading Chetan Bhagat’s 2 States: The Story of My Marriage. His strongest connect to India, he said, is the food. While he is more fond of south Indian dishes — “reflecting my upbringing”, he is now developing a taste for tandoori delights, and likes Hyderabadi biryani.

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