Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur on Saturday visited Sports Authority of India's (SAI) Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports (NSNIS) here and inaugurated a new 300 bedded hostel, in order to provide the 'best possible facilities' to athletes.
The construction of the hostel cost Rs. 26.77 Cr. The minister also inaugurated hostels dedicated to India's legendary hockey player Major Dhyanchand and sprinter PT Usha, which have been renovated and upgraded at a total cost of Rs 5.25 crore.
"It is the endeavour of the government to provide the best possible facilities to athletes. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has always harped on the importance of keeping athletes at the centre of all policies.
The launching of this 300 bedded hostel and the upgradation of the old hostels is yet another step in this direction so that athletes training at this prestigious centre have improved lodging facilities,'' said Thakur during the inauguration.
Apart from hostels, the Sports Minister also inaugurated a Sports Performance Analysis course, a first-time addition to the academic courses at NSNIS Patiala. While interacting with the first batch of students of this course, he said, "Inclusion of sports science and sports performance analysis is very important to assess the actual potential of an athlete, which can go a long way in improving the overall performance of India in international competitions."
Thakur interacted with over 400 athletes and trainees and motivated them to continue focusing on sports and to make the country proud. He sought inputs from athletes about the facilities available to them at the centre and improvements that they want in the current set up.
Over the years, SAI Patiala has produced many well-known athletes who have gone on to win many laurels for the country, including World Championships and Olympic medals, a release said. In the year 2021, SAI Patiala athletes won a total of 72 medals across six disciplines at National level competitions.
This year, this tally increased to 195 medals. On the International level, SAI Patiala athletes won 19 medals in competitions such as Commonwealth Championships, European Open & Junior World Championships among others.