The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports Sarbananda Sonowal has said that every year, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) , in its 56 SAI Training Centres (STCs) and 19 Special Area Games (SAG) Centres, have weeding out and enrolment programme. Apart from medal winners at State and National levels, who get direct entry, winners at District level and other talented athletes are allowed to compete in selection trial camps for identification and selection of trainees.
In a written reply in the Lok Sabha today Sonowal said, the Government assists the National Sports Federations (NSFs) for preparation and participation of Indian athletes in international sports events. The SAI in consultation with the NSFs finalizes a Long-term Development Plan (LTDP) for all major sports disciplines. Based on the approved LTDP, Annual Calendar for Training and Competition is prepared, which is supplemented by the ‘National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) Target Olympic Podium (TOP) Scheme’ for meeting customized training needs of medal prospects.
He said, Indian sportspersons/teams are performing fairly well at the International level in the Olympic disciplines like Archery, Canoeing, Hockey, Shooting, Taekwondo, Athletics, Kayaking, Judo, Squash, Weightlifting, Badminton, Cycling, Rowing, Swimming, Wrestling, Boxing, Gymnastics, Sailing and Table Tennis. Accordingly substantial financial assistance is being extended in these disciplines to target and win more medals in future International events.
The Minister said, the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports (Department of Sports) has formulated and issued in February, 2015, a scheme known as National Sports Talent Search Scheme (NSTSS) under which it is proposed to identify sporting talent among students in the age group of 8 to 12 years, including from rural areas, and further nurture them so as to enable them to participate in National and International sports events, win medals and bring laurels to the country.
He said, talent search is also done by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) coaches during the annual National Sports Competitions of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan (RGKA) [erstwhile Panchayat Yuva Krida aur Khel Abhiyan (PYKKA)].
For the purpose of promoting excellence in sports, it is also essential that with a view to “catch them young and teach them rightly” through scientific training methods, sporting talent is searched for, spotted and nurtured in a methodical manner in order to reach such a state of sporting excellence as to be able to become medal prospects in various international events. Since the essence of spotting of raw sporting talent is to catch such talents at a young age, so as to enable enough time to groom and hone the talents of such children, there is no proposal to