IIS focuses on young athletes, says JSW Head of Sports Excellence and Scouting

JSW’s High-Performance training centre, the Inspire Institute of Sports (IIS), has been focused on "grooming the young athletes for the future as hardly anything new could be tried at this stage for the Olympics."

“We do have a bunch of top athletes like Neeraj Chopra, Bajrang Punia, Tejinder Toor, Nikhat Zareen etc. We cannot try anything new with them," says Manisha Malhotra, the Head of Sports Excellence and Scouting of JSW, said.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Indian sports may have turned its focus on the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, aspiring to build on the two medals won in Rio, through P.V. Sindhu and Sakshi Malik.

However, “the focus was on grooming the young athletes for the future as hardly anything new could be tried at this stage for the Olympics," the Head of Sports Excellence and Scouting of JSW, a former tennis champion Manisha Malhotra, said.

“We are focused on a bunch of young athletes. Two of our judokas are looking very good and have tremendous potential’’, said Manisha as she discussed the efforts being made to lay a strong foundation, especially through JSW’s High-Performance training centre, the Inspire Institute of Sports (IIS) in Vijayanagar, Karnataka.

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“We do have a bunch of top athletes like Neeraj Chopra, Bajrang Punia, Tejinder Toor, Nikhat Zareen etc. We cannot try anything new with them. They have to go through their training and manage injuries. Olympics will be on us in a flash’’, said Manisha, as she explained the lack of scope in dealing with the top athletes.

There was more excitement about the prospects of five athletes including two sprinters and two triple-jumpers in the forthcoming World University Games.

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With JSW Sports working closely with the Sports Authority of India (SAI), especially the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), the national federations, support to the athletes was being extended wherever required.

Apart from boxing, wrestling, athletics and judo, the JSW is all set to get into swimming next season, in a big way.

Of course, rather than trying to support individual shooters, the JSW has extended big support to the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) especially in terms of paying compensation to coaches.

The IIS, a world-class training centre with high-quality equipment and experts, is at the disposal of the needy athletes. “We have about 120 athletes at the IIS. We are happy to provide them with the best support towards progress’’, Manisha said.