Haryana has emerged as a gold mine by contributing 15 out of the 38 top medals India bagged at the Delhi Commonwealth Games and authorities said rewards and incentives to groom budding athletes have borne fruit.
"There are lot of incentives and rewards which we have been giving to our sportspersons. The Sports Talent Hunt Scheme to search and groom the budding sportspersons in the State's rural and urban areas has also borne fruit," Haryana Olympic Association President, P V Rathee told PTI today.
Besides winning 15 gold medals, Haryana athletes also bagged eight bronze and four silver at the Games.
Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said that the players from the state have performed exceedingly well in the CWG and made the country and state proud.
The state is set to honour its CWG medal winners and their coaches in a function to be organised at Sonepat on Haryana Day on November 1.
After an exhilarating medal haul in which most of the victors came from a nondescript villages in the state, Hooda said, "171 stadia are being set up in rural areas to groom rural talent and provide them suitable infrastructure."
The players winning gold, silver and bronze medals would be given a cash award of Rs 15 lakh, Rs 10 lakh and Rs 5 lakh respectively by the Haryana Government.
Rathee said that HOA had requested the State Government to open a Special Academy at Madhuban, where the players who have won the medals at the Delhi CWG and other promising players will get further training for the 2012 Olympics.
"We intend to hire foreign coaches for this proposed Academy so that our players can win medals at the Olympics," Rathee said.
As many of the players from the State who have won medals at the CWG come from rural background, where the State government and the HOA is laying a lot of emphasis to scout and hone talent.
"We also intend to launch a Sports University soon in the Jind-Sonepat-Bhiwani belt as maximum talent comes from that
area," the HOA chief said. The Haryana players won most of the medals in wrestling, shooting and boxing sports while Krishna Poonia broke over five decade old medal jinx in athletics by winning the gold in women's discus throw becoming the first woman athlete from the country to win a CWG medal.
Anisa Sayeed and Seema Antil from Faridabad and Sonepat won medals in shooting and athletics.
Wrestler Manoj Kumar's village in Kaithal erupted after he got a medal in the 64 kg category. People in his village
remained glued to the television cheering for him all the way.
"He has made his village, district, Haryana and entire nation proud," his father Sher Singh said.
Celebrations have been going on at shooter Harpreet Singh's home at Karnal after he won double gold while boxer
Paramjit Samota's village Dinod in Bhiwani never looked the same again after his gold winning feat.
"He has brought laurels for Haryana and India. I hope he will bring more," a beaming father, Pradeep Samota, said.
Three players in the men's hockey team--Sandeep Singh (Kurukshetra), Sardara Singh (Sirsa) and Bharat Chhikara (Jhajjar)-- also belong to Haryana, though there was disappointment as the team lost to Australia in the finals.
Buoyed by the successful manner in which the Games have been conducted and impressive performance by Indian athletes at the CWG, Hooda feels "the country is capable of organizing the Olympic Games also".
In another measure to encourage athletes and secure future for the bright players, the state government has appointed 11 sportspersons as DSPs and three per cent reservation has been provided to outstanding sportspersons in police department.
"Also, many other sports friendly initiatives have been taken and the diet allowance of players has been increased," Hooda said.