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Olympic medal-winning athletes relive their best moments spent inside NIS Patiala campus

From Neeraj Chopra to Mirabai Chanu, India's top athletes spoke about their experiences of staying in NIS Patiala, which turned 61 years last week.

Olympic medal-winning athletes relive their best moments spent inside NIS Patiala campus

Neeraj Chopra shares his anecdotes about NSNIS, Patiala


The Bridge Desk

Published: 12 May 2022 11:18 AM GMT

The Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports (NSNIS), Patiala India which is also Asia's largest Sports Institute completed 61 years of foundation on May 7, 2022.

This Institute, popularly known as the "Mecca" of Indian Sports have produced exceptional sporting talents from India who have been to win multiple laurels for the country in the biggest sporting stages of the world, including the Olympics and World Championships.
To mark the 61st foundation day of the Institute, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) conducted a special show where they brought together India's leading athletes on a stage who relived some of the special moments they have spent in NSNIS Patiala.
Tokyo Olympics gold medal-winning javelin thrower, Neeraj Chopra, who was present at the ceremony, virtually over a video call recalled how athletes got permission to celebrate festivals on the campus by bringing DJs at times. "During occasions such as Holi, we sought permissions to bring DJ inside the campus. Initially, the staff used to refuse, but ultimately they would listen to our requests. And on those particular days, when we celebrated, though none of the athletes could dance, they broke sweat more than training that day on the dance floor," quips Neeraj.

Tokyo Olympics silver medallist weightlifter, Mirabai Chanu, who has trained on the campus since 2012 relieved that the campus became her second home. She elaborated on the camaraderie she shared with her compatriots and seniors inside the campus. "The biggest motivation I got in the campus was by seeing my seniors doing well. They kept on sharing their stories and that is how it played an influential role in shaping us. Also, since we didn't go back to our homes often, we celebrated each other's success and medals. There's a lot to learn on this campus," shares Chanu.

London 2012 Olympics bronze medallist wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, who was also present at the occasion, echoed similar thoughts "Not only in our discipline, back in our days at NSNIS, we would see champions like Anju Bobby George, Karnam Malleswari. Their achievements pushed us to do big things for our country. Besides, the best part was the staff at the institute. We didn't consider them as staff members, they became a part of our family who also weaved the dreams of winning medals with us. I am grateful for being a part of the institute," Shared Dutt.
Union Minister Anurag Thakur laid the foundation stones of multiple SAI projects on the occasion of the 61st foundation day of NSNIS Patiala. This is part of the revamping of NSNIS Patiala wherein the government is investing more than Rs 150 crore in 3 years.
The first project is the setting up of a National Centre of Sports Coaching including a High tech sports science labs and a Strength and Conditioning Hall for the education of diploma holders.
The new infrastructure includes an indoor 3-lane track and a full rehabilitation and recovery gym for athletes. The strength and conditioning hall has the capacity to accommodate 150 athletes at one go and promises to be one of the biggest such facilities in the country.
The second project is the construction of a centralized fully air-conditioned Kitchen and Food Court with a sitting capacity of 400 people and a modular kitchen with a capacity of preparing 2000 meals. The third project is the increase of hostel capacity by 450 with the building of 2 new hostels on the campus.

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