SAI will establish 20 Centers of Excellence at the Olympic Games in Paris and Los Angeles

NEW DELHI: in a first movement of its kind, the Ministry of Sports has decided to create 20 National Centers of Excellence (NCE) with frontline coaches will train athletes in the development group maintaining 2024 Paris and 2028 Los Angeles Olympics in mind.

The NCE will have the distinction of having a single scheme that runs in them for elite athletes, thus ending the differentiation in training and other facilities between athletes within the same campus.

Each NCE will go to four to six specific sports.

It will move away from the previous configuration of having several schemes running in it UPS Regional centers, which lead to separate training, diet and kitting for athletes, this scheme will ensure that athletes in the same facilities have access to similar facilities.

The decision comes only a few months after it was announced that the budget for the athletes' diet will be matched, regardless of the level at which the athlete is training.

While the National Centre of Excellence will be reserved for athletes training for Olympics, grassroot level athletes will be trained at other UPS facilities and will be moved to NCE depending on performance and possibility of an Olympic medal.

The two-level training system will ensure that at both levels the athletes get focused training.

The 20 UPS facilities that have been identified as National Centre of Excellence include, UPS centres in Patiala, Trivandrum, Chandigarh, Sonepat, Lucknow, Guwahati, Imphal, Kolkata, Bhopal, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Gandhinagar, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi, Indira Gandhi Stadium, Delhi, Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, Delhi, Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range, Delhi, Dr. Shyama Prasad Mookherjee Swimming Pool Complex, Delhi, National Water Sports Academy (Khelo India), Alleppey, National Boxing Academy (Khelo India), Rohtak, National Wrestling Academy (Khelo India), Aurangabad.

Talking about the decision, sports minister Kiren Rijiju He said: Standardizing training on a campus will allow athletes to achieve much higher performances in their respective sports.

When athletes of the same level train in a center and the facilities are available exclusively to them, they will train better and that will be reflected in their performance. We are working in close coordination with the NSF to ensure a smooth transition of our existing facilities at the National Center of Excellence and identify more centers.