sai stadia opened for schools and colleges: sources
New Delhi: Under the legacy utilisation plan of infrastructure, Sports Minister Ajay Maken on Monday announced opening up of SAI stadia in the Capital for use by government schools, colleges, state federations, sports associations, registered societies and clubs at a rate of Rs. 1000 per day.
The National Sports Federations will be charged Rs.5000 for holding competitions in these stadia.
Maken, who earlier this year launched the nationwide 'Come and Play' scheme, opened SAI's sporting infrastructure for the youth across the country, today said that even schools and colleges can now utilise these international level facilities.
"The schools and colleges can use these world class infrastructure and facilities for a nominal fee of Rs.1000 per day," said the minister at a press conference.
"Other sporting competitions like Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri hockey tournaments can be held at these stadia at the rate of only Rs. 5000, which is much lees than what the organisers of these events used to fetch out earlier.
"Our purpose to broadbase can only be fulfilled if schools, colleges and federations use these facilities at a very nominal amount," he added.
The 'Come and Play' scheme saw about 12,000-13,000 sports enthusiasts participating in various sports, and Maken hoped that the current proposal will firmly put the Commonwealth Games 2010 infrastructure in the domain of public utilisation.
"At the time when people enrolled under the 'Come and Play' scheme are not there, the schools and colleges can use these infrastructure," Maken said.
The minister also informed that even the corporates can utilise the stadia under the new scheme and commercialised tournaments like World Series Hockey (WSH) can also be held but the fees would be little higher in these cases.
"The corporates would also have to give charges for electricity, water, separately," he said.
Talking about the initiatives started by his ministry, Maken said, "Right now we have 12 Centre of Excellences in the country but those are for multiple sporting disciplines. Major Dhyan Chand Stadium will be set up as the Centre of Excellence for Hockey at a cost of Rs. 25 crore.
"We have also decided to set up sport specific Centre of Excellences like Yamuna Velodrome for cycling, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee for swimming and Jawaharlal Nehru stadium for football. We are also talking to the All India Football Federation for setting up National Football Academy at the Jawaharlal stadium here," he said.
Asked about the maintenance of these stadia, Maken said, "Even if we do not use these stadia, there would be wear and tear, so it is always better to use these and pay for these wear and tears rather than doing it otherwise also.
"We have engaged CPWD and National Building Construction Company for maintaining these stadia and irrespective of whether these facilities are used, they would have to maintain these stadia," he insisted.
Meanwhile, 26 Indian athletes, who have already qualified for the London Olympics, have been sent for 95 foreign exposure tours, informed Maken.
"We have a target of spending Rs. 260 crore on the players who have qualified for the London Games and till now (till Nov 30) Rs. 111.19 crore has already been spent. Out of this Rs. 64.10 crore is been spent on players who are going to foreign countries for training," he said.
Asked about the reports that some of Indian archers, who have already qualified for the Olympics, are still waiting for grants from National Sports Development Fund to undertake specialised training abroad, Maken said, "Whichever individual and federation have asked for help we have done it.
"(Discus thrower) Krishna Poonia wanted training in the United States and we have sponsored her entire training there. So there are N number of examples. There is no reason why we would not do it for other athletes," Maken said