Facilities at Sports Authority of India’s Centres of Excellence (COE) will soon be at par with three-star hotels, with the nodal body approving projects worth Rs 100 crore for development and infrastructure upgradation. This was decided during the 54th governing body meeting of the SAI, which took place on Wednesday under the chairmanship of Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju. “The governing body approved projects worth Rs. 100 crores (approximately) for building, development and upgradation of infrastructure at National Centres of Excellence across the country,” SAI said in a press release.
“These projects include construction of hostels in Bangalore and IG Stadium in Delhi along with creation of field of play and upgradation of various existing facilities.”
The SAI said in order to ensure the highest quality of residential facilities and experience, it has been decided to outsource the management of hostel, mess and kitchen facilities to “an expert agency at various SAI centres to bring the facilities at par with three-star hotels”.
The pilot project will be started with the newly-built hostels at Karni Singh Shooting Range and JLN complex in the national capital. The focus of the meeting was on the development of various aspects of National Centres of Excellence.
“The key issues that were approved in the meeting were related to creating the highest standards across all National Centres of Excellence, which included inter-alia the development and upgradation of infrastructure, management of hostels and Kitchen through an expert agency and provision of sports science equipment and manpower to various NCOEs.”
“It was also decided to hire expert manpower to optimally operate National Centres of Excellence.”
To facilitate the appointment of international athletes as coaches, it has been decided to hire medal winners at international competitions to various cadres of coach directly on contract or deputation. The same rules apply for Dronacharya award winners.
“Our sportspersons are our national pride, this decision is in line with the earlier announcement that I had made about bringing eminent Indian coaches and ex-elite athletes to the SAI NCOEs,” Rijiju said in the release.
Also, eminent coaches working in various Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), and in the government would be invited to join SAI on deputation for coaching.
Campus schools will be set up in SAI centres to cater to the educational need of the trainees, who aspire to study and play sport at the same time.
“Also to ensure the best boarding and lodging facilities, it is necessary to develop hostels.”
“For this end, the private/public sector will be engaged for the establishment of schools and serviced hostel facilities from the perspective of both efficiency in construction, operations and management and to ensure the impartment of world-class education through modern technology methods,” SAI said.
Considering the role of sports science in the development of an athlete, it was also decided to procure equipment of physiotherapy and hire physiotherapists and doctors for remaining NCOEs, which could not be covered in the first phase.
The meeting was attended among others by sports secretary Ravi Mital, SAI director-general Sandip Pradhan, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) secretary-general Rajeev Mehta, former India football team captain Baichung Bhutia and former international swimmer Khajan Singh.
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