The Sports Authority of India (SAI) on July 22, 2018 shortlisted 734 young players for a scholarship programme under the KHELO INDIA Talent Identification Development Scheme. The move came following the successful conduct of the Khelo India School Games.
The names were finalised by SAI's High Powered Committee (HPC) after due diligence. A Talent Identification Committee was formed earlier, comprising Arjuna Awardees and Dronacharya Awardees, to shortlist and propose the names of the beneficiaries to the High Powered Committee.
KHELO INDIA scholarship programme
• The scholarship programme is designed to take care of expenses of the players including training, development, boarding and lodging and tournament exposure apart from the expense allowance.
• The talent spotting and age verification of the selected players has been driven by the scientific and trusted method through Tanner Whitehouse 3 (TW3) method, popular test for assessing children's bone age.
• An annual stipend of Rs 1.2 lakhs will be given to the players on a quarterly basis to meet their out of pocket expenses, treating injuries.
• This amount will cover even smaller but very important expenses like local travel for themselves and their parents/ family members.
• Support and skill trainings will be provided at KHELO INDIA accredited Academies.
• A strong performance management system would be in place and performances will be rewarded.
• If athletes are not fulfilling the criterion and coming up to the requisite standards, they may be pulled out from the academies.
• Athletes must report injury immediately so that timely rehabilitation can be offered.
• A robust performance monitoring system would be put in place to get the best out of everyone involved in the system.
Accreditation of various academies for nurturing the young talent
• For the training purpose, the High Powered Committee accredited various private, State and Sports Authority of India academies to create a strong ecosystem for nurturing the talent. The committee also accredited 21 non-SAI academies as well.
• The aim is to develop more such academies so that young athletes can get access to the best training without having to travel long distances.
• The accredited academies will look after the training, boarding and tournament expenses of the athletes. These academies will be divided into three categories.
• There will be a strong review mechanism for academies on a periodical basis.
• Academies that do not maintain desired standards and fulfill the performance criteria, may be delisted.
KHELO INDIA Programme
• The programme aims at mainstreaming sports as a tool for individual development, community development, economic development and national development.
• The programme would cover about 200 million children in the age group of 10-18 under a massive national physical fitness drive.
• It would also see the launch of a new Pan Indian Sports Scholarship scheme that would cover 1000 most talented young athletes each year across select sports disciplines.
• Each athlete selected under the scheme would receive an annual scholarship worth Rs 5 lakh for the duration of 8 years.
• Sports would also be given priority in Schools and Colleges under Khelo India Campaign.