Odisha to set up high performance academy for athletes

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Bhubaneswar, July 6 (IANS) The Odisha government on Thursday signed an expression of intent with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) for the establishment of a High Performance Academy at the Kalinga Stadium here.

The academy will have a professional environment and approach to athletics and field events to provide excellent coaching and integrated support services to develop athletes into champion performers.

“This initiative today will be a giant leap to realise our dream of producing Olympic medallists for the country and for Odisha in particular,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told reporters.

He said the High Performance Academy will provide excellent coaching and integrated support services and educational experiences for the athletes, which will build their mental skill, confidence, focus and determination.

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The state government will provide all necessary infrastructure and support services including outdoor stadium and international class medicine and physiotherapy facilities and specialists.

It would also provide international standard sports hostels for the athletes and coaches and visiting foreign specialists.

The AFI will provide necessary support for selecting and engagement of suitable persons to head the academy as well as coaches and education teachers and specialist staff.

“We have the expertise in providing coaching in sports education. We are pleased to provide all necessary support for the academy, which will help to augment the career of the athletes,” IAAF President Sebastian Coe said.

AFI President Adille Sumariwalla said with the setting up of the academy, the athletes don’t need to go abroad for training as it would provide better infrastructure facilities and international specialists would train them here.

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