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Khelo India anthem launched by sports minister Rajyavardhan Rathore

Khelo India School Games 2018, a brainchild of Olympian and sports minister Rajyavardhan Rathore, will be held at multiple venues across Delhi from January 31

other sports Updated: Jan 15, 2018 21:51 IST
Ajai Masand
Ajai Masand
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Khelo India,Khelo India School Games,Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore

The union sports ministry’s ambitious programme, ‘Khelo India’ -- an initiative to scout for talent at the grassroots and provide it substantial long-term scholarship – will be launched on January 31.

In the run-up to the launch, Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore unveiled the mascots (Vijay the tiger and Jaya the black buck) and launched the anthem “Aur khelna chahte hain hum…Khel mein hi masti hai….khel se abaad honge hum” at a ceremony here in Delhi.

Speaking on the occasion, Rathore spelt out the plan for 2018, which has high-profile events such as the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and the hockey World Cup.

The focus of his ministry would be on planning to the minutest detail so that the athletes can achieve their best results in multi-discipline events, the 2004 Athens Olympics medal-winning shooter, said.

Rathore said execution of the plan for athletes will be top class. “I am getting a data base of all Sports Authority of India (SAI) coaches in the country. More than 200 calls are being made to these centres each day to ensure the training of our athletes. Their diet is being adequately taken care of.

“More than 92 per cent of the funding for elite athletes has been cleared. They can train with whoever they want and we have also aligned the funding with the federation so that at no point in time will the athletes suffer on account of funding,” said Rajyavardhan Rathore.

Khelo India, for which the government has earmarked R1,756 crore over the next five years, aims to take sports to “all parts of the country”, something which schemes such as Panchayat Yuva Krida Aur Khel Abhiyan (PYKKA), Urban Infrastructure Scheme and National Sports Talent Search only achieved partially.

Financial incentive

The plan is to select 1,000 under-17 children each year for the next five years and provide scholarships of R5 lakh each to train them to become potential winners at the international level. “While 17 years is a pretty late age to start, gradually we will bring down the age for talent scouting to 14, or may be 12,” said Rathore.

The minister also announced a scheme whereby personal coaches of players at grassroots level will get 20% and those at the developmental level will get 30% if their ward wins medals in major competitions. “Besides rewarding the national coaches for a player’s performance, we will also reward an athlete’s coach at the grassroots and developmental levels.”

Technology, said Rathore, will play a key role in Khelo India programme. E-coaching will be given to budding sportspersons where they can connect with coaches, physiotherapists, dieticians, etc., who can chart their progress by giving them tips.

First Published: Jan 15, 2018 20:48 IST