Govt unveils Rs 678-crore plan for C'Wealth Games preparation

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New Delhi, Jun 12 (UNI) Seeking to enhance India's prospects of medals' tally in major international sports events, the government today approved a three-year scheme -- Preparation of Indian Team for Commonwealth Games, 2010 -- with an outlay of Rs 678 crore.

The scheme, starting from 2008-09, would seek to institutionalise a system for preparation of elite sportspersons (medal probables) for prestigious international competitive events, which would also include qualifying championships for major sports events, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said.

Mr Chidambaram, who was briefing reporters on a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), said the scheme would give a fillip to the efforts to improve state-of-the-art training and provide better competitive opportunities to elite sportspersons for improving their medal prospects.

''The scheme will also help develop a system of selection of sportspersons based on performance monitoring in the run up to international events,'' he pointed out.

The scheme, which aims to maximise India's medals' tally in the XIX Commonwealth Games, 2010, has three main components. It will provide comprehensive and intensive training and exposure (both in India and abroad) of 305 days in a year to 1286 elite sportspersons in 18 disciplines of the Delhi Commonwealth Games.

Further, ten centres of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) will be upgraded to match international standards to cater to the training requirements of the elite sportspersons.

Also, latest sports, science and medical equipment will be procured for euipping SAI centres with state-of-the-art facilities to cater to the medical facilities of elite sportspersons.

Mr Chidambaram said the scheme would involve an expenditure of Rs 678 crore for three years, beginning 2008-09, out of which Rs 375 crore is for training and exposure, Rs 85 crore for upgrading SAI centres and Rs 218 crore for providing sports science back-up and medical facilities to the sportspersons.

The XIX Commonwealth Games, 2010 are scheduled to be held in Delhi during October 3-14 in which competitions will be held in 17 disciplines + 1 (Elite Athletics with Disability).

The 17 disciplines are archery, athletics, aquatics, badminton, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, hockey, lawn bowls, net ball, rugby 7s, shooting, squash, table tennis, weightlifting and wrestling.

In addition to these disciplines, competitions will be held for Elite Athletes with Disability (EAD). The medals under this category are also included in the overall medals tally of a participating country.

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