Recently Union Sports Minister Kiran Rijiju in the first general meeting of the Khelo India asked the states to actively organise the Khelo India Games to gather a larger pool of talent from the grassroots level.

Background

Various annual competitions like the University Games and the Khelo India Youth Games which are organised at the national level under the Khelo India Scheme, have helped identify sporting talent from all states. However, that is not enough. While addressing the event Rijiju praised the States that already conduct annual sporting competitions and urged them to align with the Khelo India Scheme with centre’s full support in conducting these events.

The event

The first General Council meeting chaired by Kiran Rijiju was also attended by Sports Secretary Ravi Mittal, Director General of the Sports Authority of India, Sandip Pradhan and other senior officials of the sports ministry.

Objective

To ace at an Olympic event, it takes at least 8 years to groom an athlete. Therefore, we need to identify talent at a very young age of 5-10 years itself and groom them and train them to be future champions. Then only we can make our country a sporting superpower. A five-zonal talent scouting committees have been planned for east, west, north, south and north-east. Selected talent can then be trained at SAI centres built at these five zones. However, to make this come true we need inputs from the state governments in identifying talent the minister stated. For now, eight states where KISCE will be set up has been identified and the Sports Ministry has also received proposals from another 13 states, on which decisions are being finalised. The states have been asked to identify their best sporting infrastructure for the Khelo India State Centre of Excellence (KISCE) and share it with the ministry as early as possible. The Minister assured the States that they will be provided with the fund and extended support from the ministry in building and providing a state of the art infrastructures in training senior athletes from all over the country.

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