BENGALURU: The Karnataka government is setting up a sports university funded by the Centre, making it the second such varsity planned after the National Sports University in Imphal, Manipur. Plans entail offering graduation and post-graduation courses in various sports and sports-related courses, including medicine, nutrition and counselling.
The Department of Sports has identified 100 acres in Yelahanka on the outskirts of the city to set up the university. Of this, 65 acres belong to the state government, while the remaining 35 acres are private lands to be acquired. The Revenue Department is expected to hand over the land to the Sports Department at the earliest. The venue is close to Kempegowda International Airport, which is seen as an advantage.
Karnataka Sports Minister Narayana Gowda told The New Indian Express that the university will be set up on international standards, and athletes from across India can come here to study and get trained too.
Varsity aims to give global-level training
“At present, our athletes who can afford the expenses go to different countries to get high-tech training. Our purpose is to get international standard training for talented athletes here without financial concerns. I have already spoken to Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, and the Central government will also fund the varsity,” he said.
“This project will be placed before the Cabinet, and we have plans to pass a dedicated Act for this University which will be placed before both Houses of the state legislature in the coming days.” Gowda said Karnataka has a couple of private places where one can get world-class facilities for sports training. But not from the government.
“We will discuss it with sports persons concerned, experts from the sports industry, people associated with sports, including the medical fraternity, and more. We will frame a syllabus accordingly. We want to have advanced training for sports enthusiasts. We will visit other states in India as well as other countries to get the best out of it, so it can be implemented here,’’ he added.
Kashinath Naik of the Indian Army, who is also a professional javelin thrower and coached India’s Olympic gold medallist Neeraj Chopra, and who hails from Karnataka, said people from India go to Australia, the US and other countries for training. Other than getting experts in particular sports, there are specialisations in physiotherapy, nutrition, sports psychology, and more.
In the West, there are similar universities where people who get trained take part in international tournaments and events. But, Naik said, they are expensive. Sports enthusiasts can get education along with training in specific sports at this university.
“This is a good initiative,” he said. Pointing to the Army Sports Institute (ASI) in Pune, where Naik is training, he said at ASI, there is a dedicated wing where army men proficient in particular sports get trained to participate in the Olympics. “Universities should not become training centres aiming for medals, but should focus on overall health and fitness,” he added.