Guwahati: Northeastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, and Nagaland among the eight states chosen to have a Khelo India State Centre of Excellence (KISCE) to enhance India’s Olympic performance under the sports ministry’s flagship, Khelo India Scheme.
One KISCE will be identified in each state and union territory, with an effort to create a robust sporting ecosystem in the entire country. In the first leg, the ministry had identified state-owned sports facilities in eight states of India, including, Karnataka, Odisha, Kerala, Telengana, and the four states of Northeast.
Speaking about this initiative of strengthening sporting facilities in the states, Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Shri. Kiren Rijiju said, “The Khelo India State Centre of Excellence are being established to strengthen India’s pursuit for excellence in Ölympics. Our effort is to scale up the best sporting facilities available in each state in India into academies of world-class standard, where athletes from all over the country will want to train in their specific discipline. The sporting facilities have been identified after in-depth analysis by a government committee. I am confident that this is a step in the right direction to tap talent from across the country and train them into elite athletes who can win medals for the country in all major international tournaments, and specifically the Olympics.”
The procedure of determination of these sports facilities began in October 2019, when each state and UT was approached to identify the best sports infrastructure accessible with them, their offices, or any eligible agencies, which could later be transformed into a world-class sporting facility. Of the 15 recommendations received and analyzed, eight of them have been shortlisted depending on the training facilities available in priority sports, infrastructure facilities, and champion produced by the centre.
In order to upgrade the existing centre to the KISCE, the government will extend a ‘Viability Gap Funding’ in sports science and technology support for sports disciplines practiced at the centre and also bridge the gaps in requirement of sports equipment, expert coaches and high-performance managers. The support extended will be to Olympic sports, though support can be extended in sports science and allied fields in other sporting disciplines being run in the centre.
The eight centres will be given a grant based on the actual amount finalised as per the requirement indicated after a comprehensive gap analysis study. In a bid to broad-base talent identification, the states and UTs will also identify and develop talent in each sport for which funding is received at the centre. The Sports Authority of India will extend expertise, resources, and a monitoring system to ensure that the level of performance of the athletes improves to international standards.