The virtual session took place in the presence of Sandip Pradhan, Director-General, Sports Authority of India, Pushpendra Garg, High Performance Director, SAI, Col R Bishnoi, Senior Executive Director (Academics), SAI Patiala and several athletes across the country.
This is the first time that direct admission has been given to eminent sportspersons to the course.
As many as 34 elite sportspersons have joined the course, and will be part of India’s coaching ecosystem next year.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports said, “NSNIS Patiala is one of the premier sports institutes in the country. A diploma course from the SAI institutes gives you enormous credibility and we can proudly say that he or she is a SAI coach. The diploma course to be taken by the 58th batch is a wonderful opportunity to add lots of values to the sports ecosystem and also become established coaches. We are working to enhance the value and dignity of sportspersons and those who are connected with sports and creating better job facilities and economic well-being.”
The Sports Minister also added that he hopes the former sportspersons of the country come forward to give back to the next generation of athletes. “We invite all former players and engage them in our talent scouting process and coaching. We as a government are sensitive to the need of those in the field,” Rijiju said.
The 27th Academic Council of SAI, in its council meeting earlier this year, had taken a key decision to bring forward a revamped diploma course in sports coaching to be made effective from the Academic Year 2020-2021.
The decision was taken in keeping with the evolving structure of the global sports ecosystem and to ensure that Indian coaches are equipped to train athletes as per global standards.
Wide interest from eminent sportspersons to participate in the sports coaching sector was also one of the other key reasons to redesign the course.
Wide consultations with all relevant stakeholders, including the National Sporting Federations of the sporting disciplines, were also conducted ahead of the move.
This is also the first time ever that eminent sportpersons, including Olympians, have been given direct admission to the course so as to strengthen the coaching ecosystem in the country significantly.
Report: Tapas Bhattacharya