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Challenge for Assam now is to maintain consistency: Sandip Pradhan

Challenge for Assam now is to maintain consistency: Sandip Pradhan

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  23 Jan 2020 7:26 AM GMT

Our Sports Reporter

GUWAHATI: Khelo India Games can act as a catalyst to promote sports in India at par with international standards, feels Director General of SAI Sandip Pradhan. In an exclusive interview with The Sentinel, he shares the roadmap which SAI is going to follow to take India among the top sports nation of the world.

The Sentinel (TS): What was the aim behind the introduction of Khelo India?

Pradhan: There were multiple reasons to introduce Khelo India in 2018. We felt that the Games would serve to identify talent and give the athletes international standard exposure in home conditions and most important was that it would help us attract a large number of youths to take up sports.

TS: What feedback you have received after the end of the first two editions of the Games?

Pradhan: The feedback was very good and positive. We know that there are some States which are very good in sports and have been continuously producing international standard athletes. But through Khelo India, we have noticed that hidden talents have started to come out from those States that are not prominently displayed in the sports map of our country. I feel the decision to introduce the Games already has started to work.

TS: What’s your assessment on the third edition of the Games?

Pradhan: I can say that it is very beautifully hosted. Assam government made good arrangements in every area and we also received nice cooperation from Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. Overall, it’s a nice experience for the sportspersons and the officials who visited the city during the Games.

TS: Khelo India helped Guwahati to upgrade its sports infrastructure. Do you have any plan to use those infrastructure in future?

Pradhan: Oh sure! Many infrastructure in Guwahati, including the shooting range, is world standard. These should be used to nurture our young players. We are in discussion with the State Government to start a few Centers of Excellence in Guwahati.

TS: Assam made their best-ever performance in the history of Khelo India in Guwahati. What policy the State should adopt now?

Pradhan: Assam got a big breakthrough in this Games. Their medal haul is really very rich this time. Assam now should work so that consistency can be maintained in the next edition of the Games. They should take it as a challenge and work towards that goal.

TS: Many athletes showed great skill in Guwahati Games who don’t belong to a State which is superior in Indian sports. Any plan for them?

Pradhan: Look our Prime Minister is giving us good support to take India among the top sports nations of the world. Several new plans including one-State-One-Sports policy have been chalked out to provide good support to young talent. Centres of Excellence would also be created in different States.

TS: Several athletes made exceptional performance in Khelo India Games in Guwahati. What about their future?

Pradhan: We have already chalked out plans for them. Actually these are the athletes from where our national team would be selected for the 2022 Asian Games, 2024 Olympics and even beyond that. Our talent hunt teams of each discipline were present in every stadium in Guwahati and identified the talented players. Around 500 players are likely to be selected from this Games and we would arrange proper training for them in our academies under the guidance of experts and the respective National Sports Federation.

Also Read: Former cricketer Subhadeep Ghosh appointed fielding coach for Indian women’s cricket team

Also Watch: Minister of State for Education Smt. Vibhavariben Dave addresses Academia in Guwahati.

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