High-performance sports academy to come up at Kalinga stadium in Odisha

Even as the 22nd Asian Athletics Championships opened with unprecedented buzz, the Odisha Government has taken the first big leap towards building the future of athletics in the State.

Published: 06th July 2017 07:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th July 2017 08:47 AM   |  A+A-

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik. (File photo)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Even as the 22nd Asian Athletics Championships opened with unprecedented buzz on Wednesday, the Odisha government has taken the first big leap towards building the future of athletics in the State.

It announced that an expression of interest (EoI) will be signed with the International Associations of Athletics Federation (IAAF) and Athletics Federation of India (AFI) for establishment of a high-performance academy here.

To be called Odisha-AFI-IAAF High Performance Academy, it would be located at Kalinga Stadium and have professional environment and support to athletics, track and field events. The academy will provide coaching, integrated support services, education and experience to athletics. It will have the objective of creating an eco-system in which youth and junior talents can grow and make a career to take part in international events.

Noted singer Shankar Mahadevan and artistes performing during inaugural ceremony of championships at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday | Express

The EoI will be signed by Commissioner-cum-Secretary of  Sports and Youth Services Department with IAAF chief Sebastian Coe and AFI president Adille Sumariwala in presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

The Sports and Youth Services Department will contribute through funding support for the physical infrastructure such as providing for academy office, making available outdoor stadium, gymnasium for training, medical support and physiotherapists and either specialists, hostel for coaches and athletes apart from cafeteria.

The international body will contribute through specialists, assistance in educating elite coaches, support of coaches for sprint, horizontal jumps, vertical jumps, decathlon apart from sports medicine and strengthen training. The national athletic body AFI will help selecting head of academy through the Sports Authority of India (SAI) process, coaches, administrative staff, education and training, assistance in management, liaisoning with IAAF and joint management.

Apart from providing professional atmosphere and training support, the academy will also help with the psychological side through mental skills, confidence building exercises and communication skills to create leaders.

Historic moment for Odisha: Naveen

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday described the Asian Athletics Championships as a historic moment for Odisha. Declaring the event open at a glittering ceremony in Kalinga Stadium, Naveen said the whole of Asia is now with the State.

"The world shall pause in awe for record breaking performances from athletes here at Kalinga Stadium," he said and called upon all to join the event and be a part of this glorious moment for the State.

Naveen said the State has proved its efficiency and preparedness by completing the massive infrastructure of international standard within a record 90 days. This is a historic moment through which Odisha will be known throughout the world.

Delving into the glorious maritime heritage of the State, Naveen said the State enjoyed unmatched trade with Asian countries and hoped that the mega event will further strengthen ties with other Asian countries.


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