The government of Maharashtra is planning to have a non-residential sports academy set up in the capital city of Mumbai, according to reports from TOI. The move comes on the back of the huge success enjoyed by similar academies that were set up in Pune and Kolhapur.
Deputy sports director A.R. Vigneshwar has said that the first few introductions would come up at the Dharavi sports complex and the Sports Authority of India (SAI) complex at Kandivli. Both of these, as mentioned earlier, would be non-residential in nature.
“At Dharavi, we have facilities for sports such as swimming, boxing, wrestling, badminton, judo, kabaddi, and table tennis. We will tie up with various associations for coaches to train the children,” he said.
The SAI complex at Kandivli offers hockey, athletics, boxing and kabaddi.
Vigneshwar added that preference would be given for sportspersons who have excelled at the state or national level. Two to three hours of training will be provided in the morning and evening to these sportspersons. Expenses pertaining to diet and sporting equipment would also get taken care of by the government.
In a concerted effort to promote sport, the Maharashtra government has undertaken steps to have sporting complexes set up at all levels – taluk, district and divisional levels. The Dharavi complex has been planned as the district sports complex for Mumbai.
The government is also in the process of acquiring about 12.5 acres of land in Borivali, in order to set up another complex which would serve the suburbs. Kandivli will have the divisional complex set up there in about 40 acres of land.
Former India hockey team captain, Viren Rasquinha, welcome the move and said that it was a positive sign that the government was investing time and money in sports.
“The government needs to be focused on its objectives. It must ensure that children get good coaches.”, added Rasquinha.
Amongst the state government’s committee in-charge of framing the sports policy is a former India cricket captain, who is clearly delighted with the move and believes the idea to be a fantastic one from the state government. He is now looking forward to the plans being implemented with passion and sincerity.
“I am not talking of cricket but every district must have a sports facility. A lot of extremely talented sportspersons come from humble backgrounds and they cannot afford to join an elite club. The government must foster and promote their talent. Unlike China, Australia and several other countries we do not have a sports culture nor the infrastructure to nurture it.”, he said on condition of anonymity.