SAI clears 734 budding athletes for scholarship programme

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New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) The Sports Authority of India (SAI) on Sunday cleared 734 players for a scholarship programme under the Khelo India Talent Identification Development scheme.

The scholarship programme is designed to take care of their expenses including training, development, boarding and lodging and tournament exposure apart from offering them out of pocket expense allowance.

An annual stipend of Rs. 1.2 lakh will be given to the players on a quarterly basis to meet their out of pocket expenses, treating injuries and even smaller but very important elements like local travel for themselves and their parents or family members.

According to a sports ministry statement, the high powered committee has decided to develop more such academies so that young athletes can get access to high quality training without having to travel long distances. The accredited academies will look after the training, boarding and tournament expenses of the athletes.

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It was also decided that the academies will be divided into three categories. To encourage excellence, there will be gap analysis which will offer these academies opportunities for upgradation. At the same time there will be a strong review mechanism for academies on a periodical basis. Academies that do not maintain desired standards and fulfill the performance criteria, may be delisted.

The high powered committee also decided that a strong performance management system would be in place and performance be rewarded. If athletes are not fulfilling this criterion and coming up to the requisite standards, they may be weeded out from the academies.

It was also decided that athletes must report injury immediately so that timely rehabilitation can be offered. The high-powered committee also decided to put in place a robust performance monitoring system to get the best out of everyone involved in the system.

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