Odisha: Olympian Abhinav Bindra lauds newly-opened Sports Science Centre at Kalinga Stadium

Bhubaneswar: India’s first individual Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra today appreciated the newly-inaugurated Sports Science Centre at Kalinga Stadium in the Odisha capital here.

The state-of-the-art sports science centre was inaugurated by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on December 11.  The comprehensive facility has been created to support sportspersons and para-sports persons from different sports by leveraging sports science and technology. It will serve as a centre for aiding in rehabilitation and recovery and improving performance of local sports talent and elite athletes from all over India.

“This is an excellent facility and I believe sports science is the edge that athletes need to thrive at a global level. All global sporting superpowers incorporate sports science at all levels, right from talent identification to elite athlete training. I wish I had the opportunity during my career to access the wonderful technology and expertise available here. I am sure it would have helped me perform even better,” Bindra said.

The Sports Science Centre houses specialised labs including a Para-Athlete Performance Lab, Biomechanics Lab, Altitude Training Chamber, Cryotherapy and flotation therapy.

Bindra lauded the Para Athlete Performance Lab and reiterated its significance.  “Sport is something that champions inclusivity and champions gender equality. It is marvellous to see how Odisha is using sport to imbibe these values in society.  I haven’t personally seen a state-of-the-art para training facility anywhere in the world. The entire facility is very thought through and inclusive and accessible in nature. It is also inspiring to see the number of young girls from Odisha who have taken up sports with all enthusiasm,” he added.

While the integration of sports science has become a tenet of Odisha’s sport model, the Olympian appreciated the changing approach to sport in Odisha. “Odisha is making a commendable effort to change the thought process around sports performance and embedding sports science and technology, not just at the elite level, but at the grassroots level. I had the pleasure of interacting with a few young athletes from Odisha and they were asking interesting questions that were scientific and performance related, even I did not think like that when I was an athlete. It was very heart-warming,” Bindra revealed.

On the long-term implications of the Sports Science Centre at the Kalinga Stadium for sports in India, the shooter remarked, “Sports results take time, but I’m happy to see Odisha is on the path to develop many champions going forward. The entire ecosystem is incredible, you walk in here and you are taken to another world. The facility intends to improve the performance of athletes in Odisha, but at the end of the day we are one nation. It is about Indian sports and giving our athletes the best opportunities.”

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