Sports Desk: In an encouraging move for sports enthusiasts, the Ministry of Sports is set to establish 1000 Khelo India Centres (KIC) at the district level across the country.
This encouraging move has been taken in a bid to offer a sustained means of livelihood to athletes so that India gets closer to its goal of achieving sporting superpower, the Sports Minister Kiren Rijju said in a statement.
The centres will either be run by a past champion or have them as a coach who will be remunerated for providing their expertise. A shortlisting the mechanism has been put in place to identify past champions who are eligible to either establish their own academy or work as a coach in a KIC.
The first category of athletes who will be considered are those who have represented India at recognised international competitions under a recognised NSF or association.
The second category is of medal winners in Senior National Championship conducted by a recognised NSF or a medal winner at the Khelo India Games.
The third category of past champions is those who have won medals in the National All India University Games.
The fourth category will include those who have represented the state in a senior National Championship conducted by recognised NSFs or participated in Khelo India Games.
An exception has been made in the case of Jammu and Kashmir, Andaman and Nicobar islands and Ladakh, where coaches trained with NIS certification will also be eligible to apply.
To build the country-wide network of Khelo India Centres, existing SAI extension centres will be given the option of converting into a KIC and recruiting a past champion to avail the financial grant under the scheme.
Any past champion can also establish a new KIC with infrastructure owned by them, the central and state government, local authorities, clubs or educational institution. To be eligible for grant under the scheme, the past athlete will be required to personally impart full-time training to athletes at the centre. Organisations which have been promoting sports for at least 5 years will also be eligible to establish a KIC, provided they recruit past champions as coaches.
Organisations in J&K, Ladakh, Daman and Diu, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadeep and north east states are exempt from this 5-year rule.
During the current Financial Year, 100 KICs are planned to be established.
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