The Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Vijay Goel said in the Lok Sabha today that the Government under “Khelo India – National Programme for Development of Sports” provides for conduct of sports competitions in two age groups of (i) under 14 and (ii) under 17 to encourage mass participation of both boys and girls in Sports all over India including rural and tribal areas and creation of sports infrastructure facilities.
In a written reply he said Sports Authority of India (SAI) is already implementing the following Sports Promotional Schemes to scout and nurture sports talent in the age group ranging from 8-25 years to compete at National and International level competitions across the country:
· National Sports Talent Contest Scheme (NSTC)
· Army Boys Sports Company (ABSC)
· SAI Training Centre (STC)
· Special Area Games (SAG)
· Extension Centre of STC/SAG
· Centre of Excellence (COE)
· National Sports Academies (NSA)
Accordingly, SAI has established 10 Regional Centres and 02 educational institutions to implement the above sports promotional schemes in the country through 289 SAI sports centres. During the year 2016-17, 13684 talented sports persons (9653 boys and 4031 girls) were trained in 27 sports disciplines.
The majority of the youth (sports persons) selected under the above schemes are identified from the rural, tribal and backward areas of the country. The selected trainees are provided with regular sports training in their respective sports discipline to excel at National and International level competition.
However, the Special Area Games SAG) Scheme of SAI is specially designed to scout talent amongst from the tribal, rural, coastal and far flung areas of the country and train them to achieve excellence in their respective sports discipline. During 2016-17, there were 19 SAG Centres across the country where 2000 sports persons (880 girls and 1120 boys) were being trained on residential and non-residential basis.
Similarly, the Army Boys Sports Company (ABSC) Scheme which is a joint venture with Indian Army also identifies sports talent from the rural and tribal areas falling under their regimental centres. The trainees in the age group of 8-14 years are admitted in ABSC centres for regular sports training and most of them on having been found medically fit are enrolled in the Army on attaining the age of 17 ½ years. As on date 1352 boys trainees are being trained in 24 Army Boys Sports Company (ABSC) centres across the country.
The selected trainees are provided with facilities in the form of expert coaches, sports equipment, boarding and lodging, sports kit, competition exposure, educational expenses, medical/ insurance and stipend as per the approved scheme norms.