Government to open sport schools in 628 districts

New Delhi, Feb 14 (IANS) As a part of its long-term development plan to unearth talent for Olympic sports, the sports ministry is planning to start sports schools in all the 628 districts of the country.

Sports secretary P.K. Deb said the schools will be opened within a period of 10 years. The schools will be set up as a public-private partnerships, except in remote and disturbed areas, where such projects may not be feasible.

Each schools, which may cost around Rs.31.8 crore each, will have an athletic track, hockey and football fields, indoor halls and fully equipped gymnasiums.

"We will have a district sports schools in all the 628 districts of the country. Each school will accommodate some 100 boys and girls. So we have around 628,000 youngsters, who are training in different sports," said Deb here Wednesday.

Approximately 100 talented youngsters (50 girls and 50 boys) in the 6-14 year age group will be identified through the ministry's Panchayat Yuva Krida aur Khel Abhiyan Scheme (PYKKA).

The talents will be given admission in the DLSC and will be provided with allowances for maintenance, diet and sports kit for the years they spend in the school and continue to participate in the special training programmes.

The government is likely to spend Rs.1,017 crore annually in providing stipends and allowances to the 628,000 youngsters.

Each school will be staffed with at least four trained physical education teachers, who will also act as district talent scouts during the PYKKA and other competitions. At least one will be trained in biomedics and will be given the responsibility of identifying the sports discipline for each trainee.

These trainees will be provided with allowances for maintenance, diet and sports kit for the years they spend in the school and continue to participate in the special training programmes designed for them.

At an appropriate age, the trainees will be sorted out and assigned specific disciplines though a scientific process. The individual sports curriculum will concentrate on the disciplines identified as those for national programmes. However, the school's facilities will also be open to other students who would like to specialize.

If they do well and excel, they will be eligible for the next stage and will be put in the government's centres of excellence.

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