With the London Olympics around the corner, the Sports Authority of India today reached out to athletes, who are part of the body's 'Olympic Hopeful' scheme, by providing them with necessary training, coaching and financial assistance in the run-up to the mega event.
SAI has prepared a list of 42 sportspersons, who will be provided with the additional assistance apart from its OPEX 2012 programme, and includes those who have already booked their berths for Olympics or are likely to qualify.
The 'Olympic Hopeful' scheme has been approved by the Sports Ministry and includes some of the top names including Beijing Games gold-medallist Abhinav Bindra, bronze-medallists Vijender Singh and Sushil Kumar and the likes of Leander Paes, Somdev Devvarman and Saina Nehwal.
"In our General Steering Committee meeting held on February 6 and 10 for the 16 identified Olympic sports, we decided to provide athletes with all kinds of support under the Specialised Programme," said SAI Director General Desh Deepak Verma.
The Director General informed that SAI sent letters to all the 42 athletes, asking them about their needs for specialised training as well as customised programme.
"In our steering committee meeting, we decided to provide both the men's and women's archery teams to train in Korea from February 21 to March 26. Four players namely Laishram Bombayla D, Deepika Kumari, Chekrovolu Swuro (all women) and Jayanta Talukdar (men) have already qualified for the Olympics and others hopefuls include Rahul Banerjee, Tarundeep Roy, Mangal Champia and Thipovoyi Swuro," he said.