BHUBANESWAR: An expression of intent (EOI) was signed between State Government, International Associations of Athletics Federation of India (IAAF) and Athletics Federation of India (AFI) for establishment of a high performance academy at Kalinga Stadium here.
Known as the 'Odisha-AFI-IAAF High-Performance Academy', it will provide coaching, integrated support services and education to athletes and junior potential elite athletes of the State. The EOI was signed in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the State Secretariat.
Signing of the EOI was significant as it took place a day after the Asian Athletics Championship was inaugurated by the Chief Minister. "The academy will provide professional environment and approach to athletes in track and field events in which the sportspersons with potential can grow and develop into champion performer," Naveen said.
It will provide excellent coaching and integrated support services and educational experience for the athletes, which will build their mental skill, confidence, focus and determination, he said.
The Chief Minister said, the State Government will provide infrastructure and support services including outdoor stadium, medicine and physiotherapy facilities and specialists, international sports hostel for the athletes and coaches and visiting foreign specialists.
The State Government would also provide all equipment required for proper training and development of athletes. "This initiative will be a giant leap to realise our dream of producing Olympic medallists for the country and Odisha in particular," he said.
The Sports and Youth Services Department will contribute funds and be responsible for funding and making available necessary infrastructure and support services, including the Academy office, an outdoor stadium, a strength training gymnasium, medicine and physiotherapy facilities and specialists, hostel facilities for athletes coaches and cafeteria.
The IAAF would provide specialists, assist in educating elite coaches and support specialists. The AFI will assist in the management of the academy and selection of its head, teachers and other staff. It will also liaise with IAAF.
The EOI was signed by Secretary in Sports and Youth Services Department Vishal Kumar Dev on behalf of Odisha Government, AFI president Adille Sumariwala and IAAF president Lord Sebastian Coe.