The Sports Authority of India under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has extended offers of employment to 398 coaches at various levels in 21 disciplines. Many among them are former international athletes and Arjuna awardees who have competed or won medals in elite competitions such as the World Championships and Olympics. Of the total 398, 101 coaches are joining on deputation from PSUs and other government bodies.
The recruitment comes in the wake of the effort of the Sports Ministry to provide 360 degree support to athletes as they prepare for important national and international competitions, including Olympic 2024 and 2028.
Sports Minister Anurag Thakur expressed happiness that a number of former athletes who have competed at the highest international level of competition and won medals have applied for these posts and have been selected. He said, their inclusion in the system will mean that besides training athletes in the sport itself, they will be able to train them for mental toughness which is the key to success when competing at the world stage.
The new batch of coaches and assistant coaches has a host of eminent names, including Padma Shri and Arjuna Awardee Bajrang Lal Thakar who is a gold medallist at the Asian Games and joins as a Rowing coach, Shilpi Sheoran who has won the gold in the Commonwealth championship in 2011 and joins as an assistant coach in wrestling, Olympian Jincy Phillip who joins as an athletics coach, Pranamika Borah multiple medallist in leading international championships who joins as a boxing coach.
There are 4 Arjuna Awardees, 1 Dhyan Chand Awardee and 1 Dhronacharya Awardee among those who have been selected for the positions. Besides ex-international athletes, those who have completed their Diploma in Sports Coaching from NSNIS Patiala or a recognized Indian or foreign University have also been inducted. Several SAI coaches who were previously on contract, but whose contracts had ended, have been recruited back in service, as per their eligibility.