New Delhi: Sports Authority of India and Cycling Federation of India (CFI) entered into a MoU with World Cycling body, Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), Switzerland, to start a satellite training centre of UCI at the SAI velodrome at Indira Gandhi stadium.
A Memorandum of Understanding to this effect was signed by UCI President Brian Cookson, Secretary SAI Hira Ballabh and Secretary General CFI Onkar Singh during a meeting in Thailand.
SAI will back up the project by the way of infrastructure and finance, the Federation will be responsible for selection and the training of the cyclists, while the UCI will provide advanced training methods, technical support fully backed with specific training of cyclists as well as coaches.
The idea, which was conceived three years ago with a vision to take cycling to international standards and make New Delhi, a cycling hub of scientific and advanced training with world class ultra modern facilities, the Federation was able to convince the Sport Ministry and SAI to partner into this venture.
This indoor facility will open the gates of opportunities for the budding cyclists of country as well as to the cyclists of all Asian countries, giving them the opportunity to use this ultra modern facilities with specific and advance training methods.
This facility would also help the coaches, trainers and the officials conversant with latest techniques in training and officiating.
SAI and CFI have already identified a group of 500 youngsters in the age group of 14-16 for induction into the academy following a nationwide talent hunt and some of the national players have already started training at the academy.
This recognition by UCI is expected go a long way in improving and giving exposure to these cyclists.
The fully air-conditioned velodrome at IGS, Delhi is one of the best facilities in the world and second best in Asia. It would provide a standard training system that can be followed by cyclists from any country.
Speaking about the initiative, Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said, "Setting up of this academy was a vision that we had been working to realise and today we are happy that our efforts have been recognised by UCI by approving the Velodrome as one of their prestigious Satellite Centre.
"The SAI Academy with state of the art training facilities being already in place this strategic recognition will help us to develop the sport and train future cyclists in a big way in India as well as lend helping hand for athletes coming from abroad to train at the Academy," he added.