The Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), since its inception in 2014, has been providing a valuable service to Indian sport, Sandip Pradhan, DG, Sports Authority of India (SAI), said at Sportstar’s National Sports Conclave here on Monday.
“We have clubbed the initiatives of TOPS with the funding under the Sports Federations that is assistance under the National Sports Federations (NSFs),” Pradhan said in reply to a question from veteran journalist Vijay Lokapally at the Conclave.
“Together if we locate Sidhu’s profile in the last Olympic cycle, we provided 69 international exposures, foreign coach was provided to her, gym and a trainer was provided to her, to Neeraj: Dr Klaus [Bartoniez], two foreign coaches were provided. Even now, Neeraj, in the last three-four months, has been training - sometimes in the USA, sometimes in the U.K., sometimes in South Africa, and now he will go to Turkey. That is the journey that is possible because of TOPS,” he said.
Commenting on the plans for the 2024 Olympics, Pradhan said, “For 2024, our plan is already in place. We have a Target Olympic Podium committee, and many of those who are around are also a part of the committee. We have the sub-committees in place to analyse the individual game. At present we have around 98 athletes preparing for 2024 that includes 40 para athletes and 168 athletes we are supporting for 2028. We already had a discussion with the federation and – not just me but also our committees and sub-committees. All the federations have given a plan for the Paris Olympics and also for the Asian Games which is a very important milestone.”
Pradhan also said that his organisation is trying to create a synergy between the different entities involved in sport in India – TOPS, the federations, and NGOs.
The Conclave is being held in association with Hero We Care, a Hero Motocorp CSR Initiative, ONGC, Jain University, Vajiram & Ravi, Institute for IAS Examination, Cric HQ, ShivNaresh and News X. The Conclave will be live on sportstar.thehindu.com.
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