Bhubaneswar, Aug 5: Sports and Youth Services Department has commenced the process of restructuring and revamping its 16 residential sports hostels, and will introduce Sports Specific Hostels. This will restructure the allocation of sports disciplines across its hostels and nurture trainees of a particular sport, under defined age groups, at one location, thereby enhancing the scope for more competitive and collaborative learning, leading to the holistic development of an athlete.
Currently, these multi-disciplinary sports hostels across 11 disciplines cater to trainees from the State, in the age group of 9-25 years leading to a scattered talent pool. This one sports discipline per hostel, model will restructure the allocation of sports disciplines among sports hostels and develop each hostel into a specialised centre for a specific sport, with appropriate cluster of athletes, adequate infrastructure for accommodation, coaching and training.
The hostels have been matched with their respective Sport basis its popularity in the region or district, presence of rural talent in that discipline and the availability of relevant infrastructure.
Owing to a robust sports infrastructure and related facilities, Sports Hostels in Bhubaneswar, Sundargarh and Berhampur will continue to operate as multi-disciplinary training hubs.
Department will also reduce the sanctioned capacity of the hostels from 1250 to 913 and focus on training the athletes below 18 years only. However, in some cases, sports persons above 18 years’ in individual sports disciplines, will be provided hostel facility, basis assessment of their performance and prospect of winning medals in the national and international sporting events. The Department will also support sports persons above 18 years with frequent specialized coaching camps.
In the same line of restructuring, now, Panposh Sports Hostel will be exclusively for Boys in field hockey and Sundergarh Sports Hostel will train Girls. Sports infrastructure and related facilities at both the locations will be upgraded as per international standards to accommodate competitive nature of training to enhance performance of the athlete trainees. Sundargarh which is the ‘Cradle of Hockey’ will continue to produce world class hockey players for the country.
To take this these entire forward, infrastructure development, placement of expert coaches and support staff and relocation of inmates will be undertaken. Day coaching will also commence in each hostel to encourage the local talents to improve their performance.
Elaborating on the restructuring of the sports hostels, Sports Minister, Tusharkanti Behera, said, “With this restructuring, we aim to create a perfect training ground and develop and strengthen our sports ecosystem, in the core of which lie these Sports Hostels, from where ‘players of tomorrow’ emerge. This would provide focused training and support for the athletes at beginner and intermediate level to graduate to a senior or elite level. Our hostels will be the pool of talent for the High Performance Centres.”
He further said that several inmates from the Sports Hostels have joined Senior and Junior Hockey camps and brought laurels for the state and country. “Others have made their mark in Track and Field and individual sports but there is still a rich resource of talent to be unearthed. These reorganisations are aimed to support and develop trainees achieve their full sporting prowess and excel at national and international platforms,” he added.
Secretary Sports, Vishal K Dev said, “We have been toying with this idea for a while. The lull period due to the Covid pandemic gave us an opportunity to reassess our priorities especially for grassroots. This mechanism will ensure efficient use of districts’ infrastructure and maximise appropriate funds utilization and introduce efficient monitoring system. It will also bring a positive change in athletes and make for stronger sports programmes.”
He elaborated, “This is also in line with the thinking and efforts of Sports Authority of India (SAI) in restructuring their national training institutes to create medal winners in the future. We have deliberated with SAI and our stakeholders and are confident that this model, going further, will benefit the trainees and create a talent pathway for the aspiring players and also provide an opportunity for specialized coaches. An integrated comprehensive curriculum of sports and academics, at these State run hostels, is also planned to facilitate the overall skill and personality development of an athlete.