With an aim to nurture talented tribal students in sports, the State Government has decided to set up sports hostels in Sundargarh, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Khurda and Koraput districts.
The hostels will be set up in areas close to the district model schools run by the SC & ST Development Department. The integrated tribal development agencies (ITDAs) will assess the suitability of construction of such hostels in their respective areas. In Khurda district, the hostel will come up at Tapoban High School at Khandagiri, here. Around ` 2 crore will be spent on each hostel having 100 seats.
“The idea is to spot sports talents from Class VI and VII, both boys and girls, and hone their skills in various sports. They will be trained in these hostels till they reach a position to get admission into State-level hostels,” said Secretary of the department, Santosh Sarangi.
They will be trained in hockey, athletics, swimming, football and archery. A meeting in this regard was held between higher officials of the SC & ST Development Department, Sports Department, reputed coaches and sports administrators familiar with the five sporting activities on Friday.
While students in Sundargarh will be trained in hockey, those at Mayurbhanj will get training in athletics and swimming.
Keonjhar, Khurda and Koraput students will be trained in athletics, football and archery respectively. Currently, the department runs 12 centres to impart training in archery.
Besides, the Government will set up a sports nursery school at Malkangiri. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has recently approved the proposal of the school, the cost of which will be met through the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. For the first phase work of the school, ` 36.87 lakh is required in the current financial year.
At present, the SC & ST Development Department is sanctioning ` 1 lakh per annum for development of at least one sport, one non-sporting activity and career counselling for tribal students in its schools.