Hyderabad: If all goes to plan, Hyderabad will soon have a Sports Authority of India Sub-centre which will enable sportspersons and coaches alike to brush up their skills and propel the state into a higher sporting league on the national stage.
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Allipuram Venkateshwar Reddy, newly-appointed chairman of the Sports Authority of Telangana State, said he had approached the SAI South Centre (Bengaluru) chief who evinced interest in the project. “SAI Director General (in Delhi) too has been sounded out and a proposal will be routed after a high-level meeting with the Sports Minister and Chief Minister,” he informed.
“There’s plenty of space (about 200 acres) at the Telangana State Sports School in Hakimpet. It is an ideal place to set up a SAI Sub-centre which will give a fillip to sports in the state. Our effort is to make Telangana on par with Punjab, Haryana and Kerala in sports,” Mr Reddy added.
Mr Reddy, who has held whirlwind meetings with eminent sportspersons, coaches and officials of the State, said his team had collated feedback and was in the process of drawing up a blueprint for the betterment of sport.
The SATS chairman also said he would submit a proposal to enhance job reservations for sportspersons from the current 2 per cent to 5 per cent, to the state government soon.
For his part, A. Dinkar Babu, SATS Vice-chairman & Managing Director, stressed on the ‘catch them young’ policy and said “taking sportspersons from rural to local to district, state and the national level would be the endeavour.”
“An Asian Games or Olympic medallist coming out of remote village is strong possibility in the future,” Mr Reddy quipped. Mr Babu said academies in athletics, football, hockey, volleyball, tennis, handball and kabaddi were being planned in the city in an effort to boost sports in the state. “Hyderabad is a happening city and should become a sports hub — we have infrastructure and facilities which should be made best use of,” he said.
SATS released the break-up of cash incentives awarded/ financial assistance provided to sportspersons, coaches and sports associations since June 2014, amount that adds up to Rs 17.12 crore.
About Rs 14.01 crore has been given to performing sportspersons with Rio Olympics silver medallist shuttler P.V. Sindhu (Rs 5 crore), badminton coach Pullela Gopichand (`1.5 crore), Olympic bronze medallist wrestler Sakshi Malik (Rs 1 crore), tennis player Sania Mirza (Rs 1 crore), shooter Gagan Narang (Rs 90 lakh), shuttlers Saina Nehwal (Rs 70 lakh) and P. Kashyap (Rs 75 lakh), boxer Nikhat Zareen (Rs 50 lakh) and fourth-placed Olympic gymnast Deepa Karmakar (Rs 50 lakh) leading the list.
Ironically, the Gymnastics association has been doled out Rs 3 lakh as against Rs 10 lakh given to Yoga, Rs 25 lakh to Ball Badminton, Rs 16.91 lakh to Handball and Rs 20 lakh to Table Tennis associations.
Mr Babu advised officials of sports associations to make best and earnest use the financial assistance provided to them and cautioned that scrutiny of accounts could be taken up for further grants....