Elite sportspersons offered SAI coaching jobs

Fourteen of India's elite sportspersons, including the likes of Savita Punia, Mariyappan Thangavelu and Ashwini Akkunji, have been offered coaching jobs by the Sports Authority of India.

Mariyappan Thangavelu won the gold medal in the men's final high jump - T42 at the Rio Paralympic Games.   -  AFP

Indian women’s hockey team goalkeeper Savita Punia, London Paralympics gold medalist Mariyappan Thangavelu and Asian Games winning quartermiler Ashwini Akkunji are among 14 sportspersons appointed by the Sports Authority of India as coaches and assistant coaches on a permanent basis.

The decision, SAI said, was taken to empower the athletes and provide them financial security while also allowing them to continue their training and participation in national and international competitions.

The list includes 11 Olympians and 3 Paralympians. “This is our way of acknowledging the contribution made by these sportspersons to the country. We want sportspersons who have represented the country in the most competitive, elite events of the world, to be associated with sports throughout their professional careers and even after they retire. We want to harness their vast experience towards training young, prospective medal winners,” SAI DG Neelam Kapur said.

While Mariyappan has been offered a Group A post as coach, the rest have been offered Group B posts as assistant coaches and all the appointees have been asked to join on January 5, 2019.

The list:

Ashwini Akkunji Chidananda, OP Jaisha, Debashri Mazumdar, Muhammed Anas Yahya, Gopi T, Ram Singh Yadav, Jincy Philip, Surendra Singh (all athletics), Inderpal Singh (rowing), Majhi Sawaiyan (archery), Savita Punia (hockey), Sharad Kumar and Ankur Dhama (both para-athletics).