A regional centre of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) will come up at Zirakpur to cater to northern states including Punjab, Sports Minister Vijay Goel said today. "We will set up a regional SAI centre at Zirakpur, which will cater to Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Chandigarh and Punjab," said Goel while addressing the media today. "There will be an athletic track and administrative block in the centre. It will promote football and indoor games as well.
The centre will come up at 15 acres of land and a sum of Rs 13 crore has already been released," said Goel. Asserting that his ministry was taking several steps to promote sports in the country, Goel said the Sports Ministry has already started its preparations for the 2020, 2024 and 2028 Olympic games. The government will introduce 1,000 scholarships worth Rs 5 lakh each in 10 disciplines to prepare potential sportspersons for future Olympic Games. "These scholarships will be given to potential children for eight years. We will add 1,000 such scholarships every year," he said. He said a sports talent search portal has been set up by his Ministry to identify talent at early age and provide training for sports tournaments. "Children starting from eight years of age can upload their videos or biodata on the talent portal and the Ministry will pick up while keeping in mind their capabilities for providing them further training," he said. Noting that the coaching was utmost important for improving standards of sports, Goel said now the medical and sports fitness of coaches would also be checked through an outside agency. The national school games will be held in Delhi next year wherein 10,000 children are expected to participate in 23 different sports disciplines, he said. Goel said he would like the school children should to see FIFA games for free. "Through FIFA fest, we plan to reach 15,000 schools," he said.
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