Shiva Keshavan plans academy to promote winter sports in India

India’s winter sports poster boy Shiva Keshavan is aiming to build an academy to nurture talented youngsters and is in talks with a couple of state governments.

Shiva Keshavan of India after coming his third run at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Olympic Sliding Centre on Sunday.   -  Getty Images

India’s winter sports poster boy Shiva Keshavan is aiming to build an academy to nurture talented youngsters and is in talks with a couple of state governments.

“My idea is to have a residential complex with all the multi-sports facilities and since (it will be) in the mountains, we will have access to the ski area, ice hockey,” Keshavan told reporters.

“It can be built over time. So, I’m speaking to a couple of state governments to give a little bit of land or get some sponsors (involved in it).”

READ| Shiva Keshavan: ‘Every race representing India has been nothing short of celebration’

Keshavan, a six-time Olympian, was speaking on the sidelines of the ‘CII Conclave on Winter Sports’. “By doing so (having an academy), India can become a hub in the region. We have Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, all countries that have budding winter sports teams,” he said.

“The investments are starting to come in from the ministry and I think that was the missing link. I have been participating in winter sports for over 20 years. There is not a single winter sports federation recognised by the Sports Ministry.

“It is incredible to think how did I do (make) six Olympics without a Federation being recognised, which also means that I was not funded,” Keshavan lamented.

READ| Shiva Keshavan finishes 34th, calls it a day

Asked if he believed that India could win a medal in Winter Olympics, he said: “100 per cent. I could have won a medal if I had a coach few years before, by the end of it I was (just) 6/10th of a second behind. It is possible.”

Keshavan brought the curtains down on his over two-decade international career with a 34th-place finish in men’s luge in the 2018 PyeongChang winter games.

Taking part in his sixth and last Olympics, Keshavan produced the best timing of his campaign as he covered the 1,344 metre track at the Olympic Sliding Center in 48.900 seconds in his third round heat.

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