SAI centres to induct 200 para-sports athletes in 2024-25, says Minister Anurag Singh Thakur

New Delhi, Feb 27 (IANS): In a further boost to para-sports in the country ahead of this year's Paralympic Games in Paris, Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Singh Thakur has announced the induction of 200 para-sport athletes, including 97 female sportspersons, across 10 disciplines for 2024-25 in the Sports Authority of India's (SAI) National Centres of Excellence across the country.

“This step to induct 200 para-sport athletes reflects the Government’s steadfast commitment towards promoting inclusivity and excellence in Para Sports under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji,” he said. “I am confident that these athletes will continue to contribute to the making of Bharat as a sporting powerhouse.”

Anurag Thakur said it was a natural extension of the good work done by NCOEs in Gandhinagar and Bengaluru in providing specialised training to para-sport athletes. “We have now included sports such as cycling, fencing, judo, canoeing and kayaking, rowing and taekwondo. The NCOEs will have expert coaches and will be equipped with enhanced facilities,” he said.

The Minister said the success of the inaugural Khelo India Para Games in New Delhi was a significant step towards providing equal opportunities for all athletes. “This initiative of inducting 200 para-sports athletes in NCOEs will give further momentum to the evolution of para-sports within the sports ecosystem,” he said.

India returned with its best hauls from both the most recent Paralympic Games and Asian Para Games.

Indian athletes won 19 medals, including 5 gold, 8 silver and 6 bronze, in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and backed that up with 111 medals, including 29 gold, 31 silver and 51 bronze, in the Hangzhou Asian Para Games last year with the medals coming from a dozen disciplines.

The break-up of the 200 para-sports athletes across disciplines in the NCOEs is as follows: archery 68 (35 males, 33 females), athletics 36 (18, 18), cycling 20 (10, 10), fencing 8 (5, 3), judo 14 (7, 7), para-powerlifting 10 (5, 5), canoeing & kayaking and rowing 6 (4, 2), Shooting 20 (10, 10) and Taekwondo 18 (9, 9).



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Title: SAI centres to induct 200 para-sports athletes in 2024-25, says Minister Anurag Singh Thakur

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