The persevering and pivotal initiative with intensive grassroots program intends to build a solid cluster of talented athletes in order to create high possibilities of bringing India on top in track events at the most prestigious sporting event – Olympics 2020/2024. The launch of this program will definitely streamline the process of identification, selection and nurturing of the unknown stars in athletics that are spread across the country and have not been able to mark their recognition so far in the eyes of selectors despite having high level of capabilities hidden in them.
The program will target the budding and talented athletes in the age group of 11 – 17 years in several track events across like 100m, 200m, and 800m. The list of panelists includes well-known sports legends of the country such as P T Usha, Kavita Raut, Rachita Mistry, and Anuradha Biswal who are distinguished well in their respective areas. They have been appointed as members of the selection committee and are comprised for chalking out concrete criteria for selection of youngsters for the GAIL Indian Speedstar program and thus developing customized plan and modules for training of the chosen athletes at the National Level.
The program has been formalized with the help of renowned athlete P T Usha along with the organizers Rajesh Pande – President, National Yuva Cooperative Society Ltd (NYCS), Maneesh Bahuguna – CEO, Anglian Medal Hunt, and Dr Ashutosh Karnatak, Director (Projects), GAIL (India) Ltd.
The district-level trials have already been conducted under the guidance of coaches and selectors, recognized by the core selection committee. The athletes are selected on the basis of talent and qualifying criteria formulated by the selection committee. The initial trials have already been conducted at 55 districts across 10 states in the country. There were more than 25,000 enthusiast participants out of which 850 youngsters have been selected for the state level competition.
The first state level trials were made in Jaipur on February 27-28 in Sawai Maan Singh Stadium. Around 60 boys and girls participated in this camp out of which 4 have been selected for the next level. Similarly, the same activity was done in other states and young athletes were selected. In Odisha camp 14 youths were selected, in Delhi 28 selections were made, in Kerala 28 got shortlisted, and in Jharkhand there were 4. The same activity followed in Maharashtra and Gujarat in the last week of April.
These shortlisted youngsters qualifying the state level trials will be participating in the National Camp in May 2016 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi where they will be attending an intensive national level training. At the end of coaching camp there will be final trials and winners will be selected on the basis of the qualification criteria and their potential. These winners then will get an exhaustive training throughout the year. After a year, 9 athletes will be selected for providing a world class coaching for the next 5 years with a goal of one of these athletes would be representing India at the Olympics.