The 53rd Governing Body Meeting of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) was held today, chaired by Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju. The meeting was attended by members and various stakeholders including Rajeev Mehta, Secretary, Indian Olympic Association, several sports icons, including former table tennis player Kamlesh Mehta, badminton player and Dhyan Chand awardee Trupti Murgunde, hockey player and Arjuna Awardee Deepak Thakur, Wushu World Championships silver medalist Yumnam Sanathoi Devi and boxer Akhil Kumar.
It was reported that all committee members showed keen interest in the proposed agendas and on executing the plans discussed by the Sports Minister.
Decisions taken by the committee
A number of key decisions were taken by the committee including:
- 1) In order to provide impetus to preparations for Olympics 2024 and 2028, some of the country’s best training centers would be notified as Target Olympic Podium Scheme National Centre of Excellence. The centers will be operated in collaboration with National Sporting Federations. Speaking about the decision, Kiren Rijiju said, “The government is committed to provide a sports ecosystem of global standards for athletes. These TOPS NCEOs will have state-of-art infrastructure, best-in-class coaches and support staff as well as modern sports science support.”
- 2) It was announced that talent scouting committees, consisting of top ex-athletes, coaches and experts were being formed and will begin the task of identifying sporting talent in various disciplines from across the country within the next 4-5 months, once the Covid situation improves.
- 3) Other decisions included creation of new sports infrastructure projects, upgradation of existing infrastructure projects to the tune of Rs. 120 crores. A policy was also put in place to provide out of turn promotion of coaches employed in SAI based on their performance in various national and international events.