New Delhi: Union Minister of Sports & Youth Affairs Kiren Rijiju inaugurated eight Khelo India State Centres of Excellence (KISCEs) including one in Odisha in presence of distinguished State Ministers on Tuesday. Other states where the KISCEs were launched are Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Kerala, Telangana, Nagaland and Karnataka.
Rijiju and Tusharkanti Behera, Minister of Sports & Youth Services, jointly unveiled the virtual foundation stone at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneshwar. The KISCE has total area of 66 acres and the KISCE will focus on three disciplines: Hockey, Weightlifting and Athletics.
Vishal Kumar Dev, IAS, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, R. Vineel Krishna, IAS, Director of Sports and International Athlete Purnima Hembrum were also present during the event.
“This is a very important day for sports in India and it is a very important beginning to develop sports culture and excellence in the country. The youth in India is looking for initiatives from the Govt of India and the State Governments. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said sports has to be a way of life for every Indian and the Govt of India wants to create basic facilities for everyone. The Khelo India State Centres of Excellence are being started in addition to the National Centres of Excellence,” Rijiju said.
The Union Minister reiterated the vision is to see India in top 10 in the Los Angeles Olympics 2028. “The Central and State govt has to work together and we will provide all necessary financial assistance so they develop with proper infrastructure and manpower, sports science, high quality training and so on. We cannot be satisfied with only 1-2 medals, we have to be in top 10 in 2028 Olympics,” Rijiju added.
Vishal Kumar Dev mentioned that the State will continue supporting the vision of the Govt of India to develop sports. “I am deeply humbled by the honour given to us by the Government of India to make the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar a Khelo India State Centre of Excellence. We also forward our gratitude to Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik. We will continue to seek your guidance and make the Kalinga Stadium a top class infrastructure. I’m also hopeful our young athletes and coaches will benefit from these hi-tech and high performance facilities. The benefits will trickle down to the grassroots and this will ultimately fire imagination of various sportspersons,” he said.
With a vision to make India one of the top 10 countries in 2028 Olympics, the Khelo India State Centres of Excellence will ensure that athletes proficient in a certain sport can be given the world-class specialised training and these centers become the best facilities in the country to train athletes in the priority sport for which they have been earmarked.
The support to the centers will be in the form of infrastructure upgradation, setting up of sports science centres and also soft component in the form of quality coaches and sports science human resources like physiotherapists, strength and conditioning experts.
The Centres will also have High performance Manager to ensure quality of sports science input and performance management.