New Delhi, Sep 28 (IANS) With India achieving their best-ever performance at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, the Sports Ministry has started planning for better performance at the 2024 and 2028 Olympics and has restructured its workforce with a focus on sports science and performance management.
The Ministry also gave out of turn promotions among others to sportspersons that have done well at the Olympics and Paralympics. Those include hockey players Savita Punia and Rani Rampal and para-athlete, high jumpers Mariyappan Thangavelu and Sharad Kumar.
The Ministry also approved a plan to engage in partnership with corporate India to strengthen existing facilities for athletes through CSR initiatives and direct funding.
The restructuring of the SAI workforce and the Target Olympic Podium Scheme Secretariat aims at strengthening the existing support system provided to sportspersons so that they can excel at international competitions, especially the Olympics and Paralympics.
“Our emphasis is on sports science and performance management and with the restructuring SAI will hire around 300 more scientific staff including 138 High-performance analysts, 23 high-performance directors, 23 sports medicine doctors, 93 physiotherapists, and 104 masseurs. Further posts have been created for 50 High-Performance Coaches at the NCOEs for targeted performance at international events, especially the Olympics,” said Sports Minister Anurag Thakur at the Sports Authority ‘f India’s (SAI) 55th Governing Body Meeting.
Thakur chaired the meeting which was also attended by MOS Nisith Pramanik and members of the Governing Body including IOA General Secretary Rajeev Mehta, prominent ex-athletes Bhaichug Bhutia, Akhil Kumar, Trupti Murgunde, Kamlesh Mehta, among others and senior members of the Sports Ministry and SAI.
The restructuring will also create positions for strength and conditioning experts, performance analysts, biomechanists, psychologists, video analysts, physiologists, thereby giving athletes a holistic training opportunity, the SAI said in a release on Tuesday.
It was also decided that several new departments, including sports development, partnerships, policy, and learning, will be inducted into TOPS for a 360 approach towards providing personalized support to elite athletes.
The members of the Governing Body also acknowledged the performance of the athletes at the recently-concluded Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics and approved the proposal to give out-of-turn promotions to five SAI Coaches, four of them current athletes, as a token of appreciation. Among those promoted were hockey player Savita Punia, who has been promoted from assistant coach to coach, Indian Hockey team captain Rani Rampal, who has been promoted from coach to senior coach, hockey coach Piyush Dubey has also been promoted from coach to senior ‘oach of the men’s hockey team. Paralympian high jumper Mariyyapan Thangavelu has been promoted from senior coach to chief coach and Sharad Kumar has been promoted from assistant coach to coach.
At the GB it was also discussed that the Sports Ministry will take on more partnership initiatives with the corporate sector and private organizations to build India’s sports ecosystem. SAI is already working with private entities like Glen Mark Foundation and Inspire Institute of Sport to develop specific sports and it has been decided to forge such partnerships that can benefit athletes, while also giving corporates a chance to be part of the management of sports facilities.
The Sports Ministry aims to partner with corporates for support in specific sports disciplines at various NCOEs for coaching, sports science, diet. equipment, among others. Speaking about this decision, Thakur said, “I urge individuals, institutions, and corporates to come forward to support the mission of making India a sporting powerhouse through CSR initiatives or direct funding.”