After more than 34 years coming into existence, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) is set to be renamed as Sports India. Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore announced the decision after the sports body’s governing body meeting.
Sports India – No more ‘Authority’ in Sports
“Sports Authority of India is being renamed. The word authority is being removed. It will be known as Sports India now,” Rathore said after the meeting even as the press release issued by SAI had no mention of the change in name being approved.
The sports body, established in 1984, organised its 50th GB meeting, where it was also decided that coaches will be given a say in decision making and the food expenses of athletes will also be increased.
“Sports Authority of India name is being changed. Authority word is being removed. For now, it will be known as Sports India,” Rathore announced.
Putting light on some of the other decisions taken, Rathore said that the council has decided to make the sports body leaner and they will no longer retain some of the posts in the organization after officers on them retire.
First Mission of Sports India is to look into the Athlete Nutrition issues
The governing body also advised SAI or Sports India to bring in reputed companies in the hospitality sector to manage the residential and food facilities under the SAI Residential Scheme.
“It was emphasised that the highest quality of food and nutrition which is appropriate to the development of athletes at various levels should be ensured and there should be zero compromise on this issue,” said the release.
Recently, the Indian men’s hockey coach Harendra Singh had highlighted the shockingly low level of hygiene at SAI’s Bengaluru centre, where the quality of food and standard of living came under the scanner.
Food Expense Incremented by Sports India
He further stated that daily expenses of food for athletes are being raised and a committee will be formed for the same that would look after the budget and make plans accordingly.
“They will be spending more on the food being served to the players. We are making a separate committee for that as well. A committee of experts will be formed who will decide how much more needs to be spent on the food,” he said.
“Nutrition count of players of national academies has already been increased. We have increased the amount to Rs 450 which was till now less than Rs 300,” the Sports Minister added.
Other Developments initiated by Sports India
SAI will explore options for entering into public private partnership with appropriate agencies, including global agencies to develop the stadia, utilize the extra land which is currently not being used by the athletes, so that new facilities are created for sports which are accessible to the general public.
In order to develop infrastructure of global standards at the best possible price, SAI will develop its procurement system keeping in mind the rules of the GFR, so that higher standards of infrastructure are developed and maintained.
The governing body decided that the engineering wing in SAI would be strengthened to undertake this activity.
The governing body also advised the SAI to encourage entry of professionals at various levels to manage critical activities for better accountability and efficient functioning.
The Secretariat for the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) was also approved to provide support to the Mission Olympic Cell.
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