Pune-based Army Sports Institute (ASI) has been selected for Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar for 2020, under the category ‘Identification and Nurturing of Budding and Young Talent’.
National Sports Awards are conferred on individual sportspersons and institutions every year as a recognition of contribution in the field of sports. Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar is given to corporate entities — private as well as public sectors — and individuals who have played a visible role in the area of sports promotion and development. The names of the awardees were declared by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and will be conferred by President Ram Nath Kovind at a function through virtual mode from Rashtrapati Bhawan on August 29. The ASI was raised in 2001 as part of the Indian Army’s ‘Mission Olympics’ programme.
The seven disciplines in which ASI conducts training are archery, athletics, boxing, diving, fencing, weightlifting and wrestling. The institute draws its sportspersons from the Army and from the young talent pool of Boys Sports Companies in the age group of eight to 14.
These sportspersons are supported by a team of Indian as well as foreign coaches, physical conditioners, specialists in sports medicine, physiology, psychology, biomechanics, statistics, and nutrition. “At the ASI, the sportspersons have been the ‘Centre of Gravity’ and ‘Team ASI’ is constantly inspired by discipline, dedication, determination, and devotion. The Institute has made spectacular progress and given an inspired performance in international competitions, include Olympics, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, and World Championships,” read a press statement from the ASI issued through Defence PRO, Pune.
Since its raising, the institute has enabled participation of twenty sportspersons in the Olympics and 12 have already qualified for Tokyo 2021 Olympics. The sportspersons groomed at the institute have won six Youth Olympic Medals, 19 medals in Asian Games, and 18 medals in Commonwealth Games.
In the last three years, sportspersons trained at the ASI have won 450 international and 1,118 national medals with a number of firsts and records. In the last three editions of Khelo India, the sportspersons have won 125 medals in five disciplines.
The press release states that, “The Task Force has no hesitation in saying the facilities at ASI, Pune, outclass the facilities, system, and manpower at most other sporting institutions in the country. The service of expert coaches, support staff of ASI should be utilised more in national camps and tournaments.”
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