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Academy for athletes to come up in Odisha

Thursday, Jul 6, 2017,17:20 IST By Sajish Aravankara A A A

Bhubaneswar | An academy for athletes will be built in the Kalinga Stadium here with the Odisha government today signing an Expression of Intent (EOI) with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the Athletics Federation of India (AFI).

The EOI, signed in the presence of Odisha Cheif Minister Naveen Patnaik, is for establishing an ‘Odisha-AFI-IAAF High Performance Academy’, to provide coaching, integrated support services and education to athletes and junior potential elite athletes of the state.

Signing of the EOI was significant as it took place a day after the Asian Athletics Championship was declared open by the chief minister here last evening.

“The academy will provide professional environment and approach to athletes in track and field events in which the athletes with potential can grow and develop into champion performer,” said Patnaik.

It would provide excellent coaching and integrated support services and educational experience for the athletes, which will build their mental skill, confidence, focus and determination, he said.

The state government would provide infrastructure and support services including outdoor stadium, medicine and physio therapy facilities and specialists, international sports hostel for the athletes and coaches and visiting foreign specialists, Patnaik said.

The state government would also provide all equipments required for proper training and development of athletes.

“This initiative will be a giant leap to realise our dream of producing Olympic medallists for the country and Odisha in particular,” the chief minister said.

The state Sports and Youth Services Department will provide funds and make available infrastructure and support services, said an official.

The IAAF would provide specialists, assist in educating elite coaches and supporting specialists.

The AFI will assist in the management of the academy and selection of its the head, teachers and other staff. It will also liaise with the IAAF.

The EOI was signed by Sports Secretary Vishal Kumar Dev on behalf of the Odisha government, AFI president Adille Sumariwala and IAAF president Lord Sebastian Coe.