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Watch: Sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore unveils Khelo India anthem

Sports Ministry has already decided to select 1000 athletes every year under the Khelo India School Games for a scholarship of Rs 5 lakhs each.

Edited by: India TV Sports Desk, New Delhi [ Published on: January 15, 2018 20:20 IST ]
Image Source : PTI Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore initiates Khelo India.

The cash incentives will not be restricted to just medal-winning athletes and coaches attached with them as the government has decided to extend the monetary benefits to the grassroots level coaches. Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore made the announcement during the launch of the official anthem and mascot of Khelo India School Games, beginning January 31.

"Now when an athlete wins a medal at Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Olympics, the coach gets the incentive. We will be changing that. Now 20 per cent of the total money will also go to the coaches who worked on them at the grass-root level and 30 per cent will be given to the developmental coaches," Rathore said.

"It is not a question of money but it is a matter of recognition. The execution will be a slow process. We will create a database of the coaches of the athletes who are associated with Khelo India. So when one of these athletes goes on to win a medal in the international event, the coaches can also be recognised."

Sports Ministry has already decided to select 1000 athletes every year under the Khelo India School Games for a scholarship of Rs 5 lakhs each for eight successive years.

"In five years, we will have 5000 athletes getting a scholarship and it will help to bridge the gap between potential to podium," he added.

"Now 17 years may not be the right age to start as by that time one should reach the international level.

So we will slowly take the selection age down to 12 years so that at 20, they can compete at the highest level.

"Even now we win medals but there is no second string, no back up. So we want to create the bench strength so that at least 50 athletes are waiting to take up the place. A movement has started and we want to provide all support to these kids right from the young age."

The school games will have 16 sports disciplines, including athletics, badminton, boxing, football, hockey, judo, kabaddi, kho kho, shooting, swimming, volleyball, weightlifting and wrestling.

Rathore, who had clinched a silver at the 2004 Athens Olympics in shooting, said the scheme will also focus on the coaches.

"We'll get into tie ups with international institutes to upgrade the knowledge of the coaches. We will create a bank of coaches, where people who consider themselves to be coaches can register and upgrade their knowledge. We will have 2-3 week classes for the coaches and they will also get a certificate for a central agency."

Rathore also said Khelo India Games will focus on women-oriented sports and try to run a campaign to encourage women to come out of their homes and play sports.

"I think 2018 will be the year of sports and our focus will also be on women-oriented sports. If women starts playing sports then there will be a generational shift and I think we should take it up as a campaign."

He also spoke about mapping the sports infrastructure of the country and providing e-coaches to upcoming athletes across the country.

Sanjay Gupta, MD, Star India said, "We are delighted to partner with Khelo India to enable the development of sporting culture amongst youth in India. It has to be understood that education without sports is incomplete. This is where Khelo India will play a pivotal role

"Together with the Sports Ministry we intend to realise a shared vision of making 30 crore children actively participate in sporting activities for an hour, every day.

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