Sports Ministry grants ₹35 cr to SAI for TOPS athletes

The funds sought by athletes decreased in disciplines such as badminton, athletics, shooting and wieghtlifting while increased in boxing and chess.

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The Sports Ministry has granted ₹35 crores from its National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) for customised training of athletes who are included in the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS).

In addition, the Ministry has also disbursed an amount of ₹5.98 crore for athletes across 22 disciplines seeking funds from NSDF during 2018.

NSDF funds are allocated specifically for those athletes, who appeal for financial assistance from the government.

Replying to a question on the amount of funds disbursed, a complete data (till December 31, 2018) was released.

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While ₹7.24 crore, ₹6.25 crore and ₹9.02 crore (all approx) were spent during financial years 2017-18, 2016-17 and 2015-16 respectively, the current year’s spending till December is ₹5.98 crore.

In most of the disciplines, funding sought has decreased with only ₹42.5 lakh disbursed in archery compared to ₹64 lakh during last financial year.

Similarly, assistance sought has decreased in athletics (₹1.04 crore to ₹87.5 lakh), badminton (₹35 lakh to ₹27.5 lakh), shooting (₹ 1.11 crore to ₹ 89.5 lakh), and weightlifting (₹40.5 lakh to ₹13.5 lakh).

The disciplines where more financial assistance was sought include boxing (₹52.5 lakh to ₹63.5 lakh) and chess (₹9.45 lakh to ₹38.58 lakh).