BENGALURU: With Bengaluru increasingly turning out to be a good destination for sport, there seems to be a push from the Sports Authority of India to improve infrastructure and put in place some schemes that will produce better athletes. That was the idea behind SAI director general Injeti Srinivas’s two-day visit here. Srinivas on Thursday held talks with Karnataka Sports Minister Pramod Madhwaraj, Chief Secretary to the Government of Karnataka Subhash Chandra Khuntia, and other government and SAI officials.
One of the highlights was the expansion of facilities at the Netaji Subhas Southern Centre.
“There was a positive response from the state government. This is going to be discussed further between SAI officials here and Bangalore University. They are likely to have a meeting,” said Srinivas.
Srinivas said that there was a central-government project to develop universities as hubs of excellence. Bangalore University could very well be selected for the scheme. What is being talked about is 22 acres of university land that could include an archery range and indoor athletics complex. Additional land has to be given to SAI for development. Since both campuses are next to each other, the matter has to be discussed.
“Bengaluru is the preferred location.
Also, if Bangalore University recognises talent, SAI will support them with funds from the central government,” he said, while adding that the idea was to have a national football training centre at a different location.
“It was more of suggestions to the Karnataka government. SAI was asking the state government to replicate at the state level the schemes that are being planned at the national level,” state government sources said.
It is understood that expansion of the hostel was also discussed, something that has been on SAI’s agenda. There is an increasing number of national teams wanting to have camps here, but facilities are not enough.
“It was also discussed as to make better use of all existing facilities, for not only state and national-level athletes, but for athletes of all levels. There is no point in creating more infrastructure that lies idle afterward. If there is no other option to go for it, money has to be spent. This apart, some school level schemes were also discussed,” the official added.