India is a land of hidden talent. We may not boast of state of the art training facilities in every region; but that does not stop our talented sportspersons from fighting against all odds and reach out for their dreams. We Indians know how to make the most of available resources. Time and again, we have witnessed some of the best sportspersons shining bright from areas unheard of.
While the government is coming up with various programs to promote hidden talent, recently many CSR initiatives too have focussed on this aspect.
GAIL (India) Limited, the largest state owned natural gas processing and distribution company in India has recently launched grassroots athletics program - GAIL Indian Speedster in association with National Yuva Cooperative Society (NYCS) on March 22, 2016. Aiming to create a pool of best athletes from across India, GAIL Indian Speedster involves identifying, selecting and nurturing hidden talent in athletes of age group 11-17 years in 100m, 200m and 800m track events.
When it comes to selecting the best talent, there can be no better mentor than sportspersons who have worked their way hard up to success. A panel of eminent sportspersons like P.T. Usha, Rachita Mistry, AnuradhaBiswal& Kavita Raut have been appointed in the selection committee to support selections and guide coaching camps. From creating the selecting criteria to developing training module of selected athletes, everything is taken care of by these experts.
The program was unveiled by legendary athlete P.T. Usha along with organisers DrAshutoshKarnatak, Director (Projects), GAIL (India) Ltd, Rajesh Pande – President, National Yuva Cooperative Society Ltd (NYCS) and Maneesh Bahuguna- CEO, Anglian Medal Hunt Company.
District trials were conducted under the watchful eyes of coaches and selectors in 55 districts across 10 states. More than 25,000 children participated in these trials and of these, 850 were selected for State Level.
The first State level camp was organised on February 27-28 at the SawaiMaan Singh Stadium, Jaipur. 60 talented young boys and girls participated of which four qualified to the next level. State trials have been conducted in Odisha (14 Selection), Delhi (28 Selection), Kerala (28 Selection), Jharkhand(4 Selection), Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Preparations are on full swing for the National camp and selection to be held in May 2016 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi, which will be attended by shortlisted athletes from the states.The final trials scheduled after completion of the camp will decide the winners based on qualification criteria and their potential. Top 9 athletes will be then provided world class coaching for 5 years. The organisers hope that the initiative be successful in giving India fresh and talented representation at the Olympics.
For more information on GAIL Indian Speedster, visit their website http://www.gailindianspeedstar.org and like the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/GAILIndianSpeedstar/timeline