Hockey India and the Sports Authority of India (SAI) announced on Thursday to set up high- performance centers in seven different cities of the country. The opening of high-performance centers will provide state-of-the-art facilities to the junior and sub-junior players. The aim is to prepare young players for the Olympic Games of 2024 and 2028.
High-Performance Hockey Centers are being built under the Khelo India Scheme. In these centers, players will receive specialist professional training, use of sports science, and education to the youth. SAI’s Director-General Sandip Pradhan said they want to ensure that talented youngsters are provided with top quality facilities.
“The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and SAI launched the Khelo India Youth Games as well as the Khelo India University Games with a vision to create a robust system that will help identify potential athletes who can be trained for the Olympics,” Hockey India’s official website quoted Pradhan as saying.
He added, “With the launch of High-Performance Hockey Centres across different zones in the country, we want to ensure talented youngsters are provided with top-quality facilities that will equip them to achieve success at the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games. These High-Performance Centres will have a well-rounded system with special focus on scientifically advanced training which will also include mental training for young athletes.”
The move is aimed at preparing the talent for the Olympics 2024 and 2028. SAI centers at Dhyanchand National Stadium in Delhi, National Hockey Academy, Sundargarh (Odisha), Bhopal and Bengaluru will start in the next three months, while the remaining three centers will start in the next one year. Hockey India and its High-Performance Director will keep an eye on them and players will also be given opportunities to play at the international level.
Former India Captain and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awardee Sardar Singh also hailed the initiative saying that it will increase India’s chances of winning the Olympic medal.