The Sports Authority of India campus in Gandhinagar will get a global standard high performance training centre for para athletes with focus on athletics, power lifting, badminton and swimming, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju said here Saturday.
Facilities for regular athletes will also be improved by way of infrastructure and training facilities, Rijiju told reporters here.
“We saw many para athletes here at SAI centre. For high performance training, we are going to open a centre at SAI Gandhinagar with a special focus on para athletes. The centre will focus on performance enhancement of para athletes in four disciplines–athletics, power lifting, swimming and badminton,” Rijiju said.
“Facilities of regular athletes (at the SAI centre here) will be improved by way of infrastructure and training facilities. We have also sanctioned two hostels, each with a capacity of 300. We will lay foundation stone for a hostel in a month and half. Another hostel will also come up soon,” Rijiju said after visiting the SAI campus.
The Union minister said India’s potential in world sports is “much higher than the number of medals we win”, adding that a lot needed to be done at policy, administrative and ground levels to enhance the potential.
He said the Central government is working on ensuring that more players qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the country gets more medals.
“India’s position in world sports and where we have reached in international sports competition is known. But I believe India’s potential is much higher than the number of medals we win. Much needs to change at policy, administrative and ground levels to teach, train and take forward the potential,” he said.
“We have before us a subject as to how many players can qualify and how many medals we can win in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. We are working on it professionally, through review meetings and all else that need to be done,” he said.
Rijiju also said the government has decided to provide opportunities to maximum number of players to play in international competitions so that they get exposure.
He said effort was on to identify talent at a young age and nurture them.
Rijiju is also scheduled to watch the Indian football team take on Korea DPR in an Intercontinental Cup match being held at Transtadia in Ahmedabad.
He said he will inspect the stadium and see if this can be replicated in other parts of the country.