Sports are sources of entertainment for people who witness the performance. We are thrilled to watch the last-minute photo finishes, the disappointment of those who fail to touch the winner’s crown and, the ecstasy of those who have reached the zenith. But, we often forget the immense hard work and dedication behind the awe-inspiring performance of the athletes. In sports, even the most naturally gifted athletes have to give it all.
The hardship, perseverance, and indomitable spirit of an athlete are earned from rigorous training. In a developing country like India, where still a pretty good percentage of people find it hard to meet the both ends, training and proper sports coaching sound like a dream. There is no dearth of talents, but we need to find them out and raise them properly channelizing their talent and skill.
GAIL (India) Limited has embarked on a grassroots athletics program GAIL-Indian Speedstar which is aimed at unearthing young talent across the length and breadth of India. GAIL (India) Limited and National Yuva Cooperative Society (NYCS), launched a grassroots athletics program GAIL Indian Speedstar on the 22nd of March, 2016 at the Constitution Club of India, New Delhi. National Yuva Cooperative Society has tied up with Anglian Medal Hunt Company as its Technical Partner for The GAIL Indian Speedstar project.
The main aim of the program is to identify, select, and nurture the hidden talents in athletics. The targeted age group is 11 – 17 years in 100m, 200m, and 800m track events across.
A panel of eminent sportspersons like P.T Usha, Rachita Mistry, Anuradha Biswal and Kavita Raut have been appointed to the selection committee to support selections and guide coaching camps. As members of the selection committee their role would include creating the selection criteria or the GAIL-Indian Speedstar program, and developing the training plan and module for the selected athletes at the National Level.
Talent identification will be conducted in different states of India and, from among disadvantaged communities of remote areas. This grass-root level talent hunting is objected to creating a pool of athletes who will be going through persistent training of 5 years and will possibly bring honour for the country in the track events at the highest echelon of sporting events- the Olympics 2020/2024.
As Paul “Bear” Bryant has said,“It’s not the will to win that matters—everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.”
Access to coaching, foreign training, physiotherapy, mental conditioning and others support services are the fundamental need and, GAIL (India) Limited is ensuring that nationwide.
District trials were conducted under the watchful eyes of coaches and selectors, appointed by the selection committee. The selection of the athletes was based on talent identification and selection criteria set by the selection committee.
Initiatory, in its first year, earlier this year with initial trials conducted in 55 districts across 10 states in which more than 25,000 children participated out of which 850 children made it to the State level.
Camp and Selection
The first State level camp and the trial was organized on 27-28th of February in Sawai Maan Singh Stadium, Jaipur where 60 boys and girls participated out of which 4 have qualified for the next level. The state trials were held in Odisha (14 Selection), Delhi (28 Selection), Kerala (28 Selection) Jharkhand (4 Selection) followed by Maharashtra and Gujarat in the last week of April. The shortlisted children from the State trials will then participate in the National camp and selection scheduled to be held in May 2016 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi. Shortlisted athletes from state trials will attend an intensive national level camp. At the conclusion of the coaching camp, final trials will be held. Winners will be selected based on the qualification criteria and their potential. The winners will be given extensive training throughout the year. The top 9 athletes will then be provided with a world class coaching for over a period of 5 years with an ultimate objective of one of these athletes to represent India at the Olympics.
The recent success of Dipa Karmakar as she has qualified as the first Indian woman to take part in the artistic gymnastics in the Rio Olympics has sown new seeds of hopes and dreams among young Indian talents.
This initiative of GAIL-Indian Speedstar is sure to brighten the future of Indian sports. We appreciate and wholeheartedly support their Speedstar program.
To know more and support them, please visit GAIL-Indian Speedstar
This is written is an association with GAIL Indian Speedstar & IndiOne.
Image Credit: GAIL-Indian Speedstar