Union Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports Kiren Rijiju launched the Khelo India State Centre of Excellence (KISCE) at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex at Mhalunge-Balewadi in Pune on Monday. This is the 9th KISCE formally inaugurated by the Union Minister so far and the Maharashtra-based sports complex will focus on three Priority Olympic disciplines – Shooting, Athletics and Cycling.
“Today is a very important day not just for Maharashtra but for entire India. Maharashtra is a very big State and I have seen the potential here. We are happy to extend all kinds of support for the development of all the athletes and even in future we will continue doing so,” said Rijiju at the event.
The Union Minister reaffirmed that the Government is dedicated to strengthen the sports ecosystem in every possible way. “We have made policies to have 1000 Khelo India Centres across all districts of the country. All the rural students can avail all the facilities and support to continue their sports practice. All the best players from these districts in return will be trained at the KISCE to become elite athletes. The State Government and the Central Government have to work in hand and collectively we have to work together to keep strengthening our sports culture.”
The Khelo India State Centre of Excellence (KISCE) in Pune will be supported financially for renovation to operationalise the 25m electronic target shooting range besides support in providing of road and track cycles. They will also be provided financial support for sports science backup, engagement of coaches, support staff, sports equipment and more. The Sports Authority of India will keep providing technical expertise and assistance on routine basis.
The Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex has played a dominant role in Indian sports history. Some of the major events hosted here include the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games, the Asia U-16 Basketball Championship for Women in 2009, the Khelo India Youth Games 2019, and more. The Stadium also was the home venue for former I-League team Pune FC and Indian Super League side FC Pune City.
The 9 KISCEs inaugurated so far include:
1. Nagaland- State Sports Academy, IG Stadium Kohima
2. Manipur – Khuman Lampak Sports Complex, Imphal
3. Arunachal Pradesh – Sangey Lhaden Sports Academy, Chimpu Itanagar
4. Mizoram – Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, Aizawl
5. Odisha – Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneshwar
6. Telangana – Regional Sports School Hakimpet
7. Karnataka – Sh. Jayaprakash Narayan National Youth Centre Bangalore
8. Kerala – GV Raja Sr. Sec. Sports School Thiruvananthapuram
9. Maharashtra – Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Balewadi, Pune
With a vision to make India one of the top 10 countries in 2028 Olympics, the Khelo India State Centres of Excellence will ensure that athletes proficient in a certain sport can be given the world-class specialised training and these centers become the best facilities in the country to train athletes in the priority sport for which they have been earmarked.