Playing any sport at the highest level is very expensive. One needs to have a sense of financial security to perform at the peak of his or her powers at the topmost level. Besides for the athletes emerging from not so financially sound background, sports schemes that help them develop and provide some financial security is a must.
Here, we look at the top financial sports schemes that exist in India:
Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS)
The Target Olympic Podium Scheme or TOPS was started by the Indian government in the year 2014. As the name suggests, this the scheme was first established by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) with an aim to realise India's Olympic medal dreams at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Under the TOPS scheme, a committee by the name TOPS Elite Athletes' Identification Committee was constituted to identify the athletes who have the potential to win an Olympic medal for the country. The members of the committee are selected by the MYAS with special emphasis on representation from high priority sports like archery, wrestling, badminton, hockey, shooting and boxing. In the year 2018, the MYAS earmarked a total of INR.100 crore for the funding of athletes under this scheme.
The Khelo India which literally translates into 'Play India', was started in the year 2018 by the then Sports Minister and former Olympic medallist Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore. Under this scheme, the government wishes to develop a strong-rooted sporting culture in India right from the grassroots level.
The Khelo India Youth Games and the Khelo India University Games are a part of the Khelo India programme. The Government of India allocated a total of INR.657.71 crores for this scheme for the financial year 2021-22. This scheme majorly works to identify potential talents in the high priority sports and then provides them with financial assistance ranging from INR.5 lakh to INR.8 lakh per annum.
National Centre of Excellence (NCOE)
The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) in the year 2019 announced the establishment of 20 National Centre of Excellence. The main vision of these centres is to groom athletes for 2024 Paris and 2028 Los Angeles Olympics. Each centre of excellence is designated funds for four to six selected sports.
These centres are set up at SAI centres in Patiala, Trivandrum, Chandigarh, Sonepat, Lucknow, Guwahati, Imphal, Kolkata, Bhopal, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Gandhinagar, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi, Indira Gandhi Stadium, Delhi, Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, Delhi, Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range, Delhi, Dr. Shyama Prasad Mookherjee Swimming Pool Complex, Delhi, National Water Sports Academy (Khelo India), Alleppey, National Boxing Academy (Khelo India), Rohtak, National Wrestling Academy (Khelo India), Aurangabad.
Sports Authority of India Promotional Schemes
The Sports Authority of India (SAI) Promotional Schemes have been established by SAI across its 273 sports centres in the country. The main aim of these promotional schemes is to identify the potential sports talents and support them in all the way possible.
The SAI Promotional Schemes include
- National Sports Talent Content Scheme (NSTC)
- Army Boys Sports Company Scheme (ABSC)
- SAI Training Centres Scheme (STC)
- Special Area Games Scheme (SAG)
- Centre of Excellence Scheme (COX)
- SAI National Sports Academy
While the NSTC and ABSC schemes are for sub-junior trainees, the STC and SAG are for junior-level trainees and the COX is reserved for senior-level athletes. The SAI allocated a total sum of INR. 7600 crores in the financial year 2018-19 for these schemes.