SAI expedites efforts to make `Vision 2020` a reality
New Delhi: Giving wings to its ambitious plan of spending Rs 2000 crore on athletes for 2020 Olympics, the SAI has instructed the respective NSFs to identify their pool of young sportspersons and provide them with the best of facilities and training over a period of eight years.
A programme `Vision 2020` under the aegis of Union Sports Ministry had been chalked out last year, which aims at selection of the junior talents, imparting good training and arranging for their exposure tours abroad.
Giving shape to its plan, the Sports Authority of India has started holding meetings with the heads of the various National Sports Federations on a daily basis to start the project at the earliest.=
"SAI DG Jiji Thomson has started calling on federations and is holding meetings with one or two federations on a daily basis. The DG wants to finish off the task at the earliest as this ambitious project is running behind schedule," an official said.
"Even countries like Bangladesh and South Africa have started their respective `Vision 2020` programmes and we are yet to identify the talents. The meeting is an effort towards instructing the federations to prepare their list of probables, a pool of athletes, from which they could be selected for the future competitions," the official added.
The unique scheme, based on the pattern of Chinese and Eastern European countries, is aimed at identifying the talent at the age of 13-15 years and to provide them with the best of facilities and systematic training so as to enable the players to attain peak performance at the 2020 Olympics.
The official informed that the SAI wants to put an ultra-modern monitoring system in place to keep a track of the athletes` progress in its bid to realise the medals dreams.
"After meeting the federation officials and getting the list of probables, we will start monitoring the training camps where we would be looking at certain requirements like foreign coaches, diets, training equipment, infrastructure among others," he said.
SAI will finish meeting federation officials in around one month`s time and send the project to the Sports Ministry for its approval.
"In one month`s time, we will complete the drill on our part and send the project for ministry`s approval. The cost of the project would come down to Rs 2000 crore. Sports ministry has shown interest in the project and they are keen on implementing it at the earliest. After getting the due approval, the project will be launched by this year," he said.
The major funding involves national coaching camps and international exposures till 2016-17; national coaching camps and international exposures from 2017-18 to 2020-21 and foreign coaches` salary.
The scheme, launched under the guidance of former SAI Director General Desh Deepak Verma and headed by Roque Dias, Regional Director (LTDP - Youth OG` 20), will involve agencies like Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and NSFs.
Under the scheme, insurance cover will be provided to all the trainees undergoing national coaching camps and monetary incentive for team members would be provided to those athletes who qualify for the 2020 Olympics.
The SAI has set an aim of 20-30 per cent selection of the athletes from the scheme for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
After the Rio de Janeiro Games, the athletes in certain disciplines will be provided with high altitude training camps so as to get Olympic quota in the recognised World Cup/World Championship, Olympics qualifying events and Asian Championships.
The best foreign coaches available will be appointed along with the Indian coaches to train the young athletes, while the latest technology coupled with scientific back up and sports facilities will be provided to these sportspersons from the very beginning of their training.