Shillong can be developed as a High Altitude Training Centre: Rijiju

Correspondent Shillong, Jan 4 | Publish Date: 1/4/2021 1:22:38 PM IST

Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs, Kiren Rijiju on Monday said Meghalaya’s State capital Shillong can be developed as a High Altitude Training Centre.

“This place is not very high in terms of altitude but sufficient enough to be declared as a high altitude training centre,” Rijiju said after inaugurating sports facilities at SAI, Training Centre, NEHU Campus here. He also inaugurated Synthetic Athletic Track and Field and a Synthetic Football Ground.

“This is very appropriate and this can be a permanent location. Normally high altitude training centres are temporary in nature but this location is very appropriate to be a permanent centre as well as certain athletes can come here to train at higher altitude,” the Union Minister said while appreciating the location for the SAI centre.

Acknowledging the high potential of the centre, Rijiju said, “We have very few high altitude training centres in India – One in Shilaroo near Shimla, one here in Shillong. We have some locations in South India in Ooty and towards the Nilgiri Hills Side and I am also planning to have few more maybe in Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Aizawl cause it also has an altitude”.

“The centre is equipped with all modern facilities and there are hostel facility also. Therefore, we can have players from States coming for a few period of time like 1 month, 2 months to make themselves used to the higher altitude training, the Union Minister added.

Hinting on the huge potential of sports in Meghalaya and the whole of Northeast, Rijiju said that the country have seen some of the top international level of players from this region.

Admitting that lack of proper training, the proper scouting of talent at a young age do not happen, Rijiju said, “This is the reason why the region have not been able to realise the potential.”

Stating that his ministry has set a very clear target that by 2028 Olympics, the Union Minister said, “India should be in the Top 10. To achieve that lots of emphasis have to be given for scouting of young talents. The eight States in Northeast can really contribute 25-30 per cent of the total medalists in the Olympics.”

The Union Minister said that with the development of sports, allied industries will also grow and wherever the country progresses more, their progress in Sports also proportionately increases.

“The more society progresses, the more you will see activities in sports and adventure,” he added.

Stating that Northeast is gifted in terms of sports and Meghalaya is one of the finest locations in India and not only in the Northeast, Rijiju hinted on his efforts to grant more funds from his other Ministry – Ministry of Minority Affairs. He said that he wanted to use funds from the other Ministry also and therefore Sports have been included in the North Eastern Council  (NEC) budget.

“NEC can also sanction money for the Sports & Adventure. It was not there but I have insisted that it must be there because youth and sports activities are crucial so the NEC must do certain funding for inclusion of sports infrastructure,” he said.

“We will have a good understanding with the University people so that we can really create this particular facility as one of the centralized excellence in the country. This should be known across the country that it not only has a good climate and facility but the inherent training facility that will be created here,” the Union Minister added.


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