He said medal prospects in major disciplines would be funded by the National Sports Development Fund. Maken also announced a time-bound training programme for 16 key disciplines in the Olympics, to be monitored by specially appointed apex and steering committees.
The disciplines are swimming, archery, athletics, badminton, boxing, gymnastics, hockey, judo, rowing, sailing, shooting, table-tennis, taekwondo, tennis, weightlifting and wrestling.
A schedule of camps for these disciplines was released, most of which would be based in Delhi. Other locations include Patiala, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Gandhinagar. The camps would commence in a couple of days, the minister said.
Yes, this is quite out of character for India, which takes no sport but cricket seriously. This is a pretty good way to inspire some confidence in the sports establishment disgraced by the shamelessness of thugs like Kalmadi. Playing to our strengths seems to be a good starting point. Hopefully, in 2012, the government will also deal with a firm hand in trimming the wasteful administrative expenditures that eat up the sports budget and focus instead, on improving sports infrastructure in the country.
And who knows, we might win a few medals next year…as a Ghanaian might say, they tried…