A nationwide trial to identify budding athletes for the GAIL Indian Speed Star Season III culminated in a grand finale held on 22nd February, 2018 at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex
In the presence of Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Hon’ble Minister of State (Independent Charge), Youth Affairs and Sports and Hon’ble Minister of State, Information & Broadcasting, Shri B C Tripathi, Chairman & Managing Director, GAIL (India) Ltd. and National Selection Committee members including the legendary Ms P. T. Usha, Shri Sriram Singh Shekhawat, Olympians Ms Rachita Mistry, Ms Anuradha Biswal and Asian and Commonwealth Games medalist, Ms Kavita Raut.
The winners will join an elite group of 14 athletes selected in the previous 2 seasons of this initiative. These 14 athletes are undergoing training at the prestigious Racers Track Club in Kingston, Jamaica which is the training ground of champions such as Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake.
After felicitating the winners, Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore Hon’ble Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, I&B, Government of India said, “It is an honour for me to be present in the midst of budding athletes and prospective international medalists for the country. Perception about sports and sportspersons in the country is changing, today everyone looks up to sportspersons to win medals in international competitions and make country proud. As a sportsperson myself, my appreciations and heartfelt congratulations to GAIL for successfully conducting 3 seasons of this unique talent search program. This grassroots program to identify and groom athletes in the country is a noble initiative that is worth emulating. Such support will go a long way in unearthing hidden talents and promoting sports in the country. My best wishes to all the participating athletes and with the kind of support provided by GAIL, I am sure the nation will soon get to celebrate medals from international athletic events.”
Shri B C Tripathi, Chairman & Managing Director, GAIL (India) Ltd. said, “GAIL is India’s youngest Maharatna PSU which has accomplished this status in a short span of just 30 years. GAIL became part of this movement because as a young and dynamic company, GAIL’s association with youth comes but naturally. GAIL Indian Speed Star is an effort to contribute to Hon’ble Prime Minister’s ‘Khelo India’ movement as it provides a platform to these talented children who otherwise do not have access to quality sporting infrastructure and proper guidance and mentorship.”
GAIL Indian Speed Star is an initiative of GAIL (India) Limited to search national talent in athletics and groom future stars for Olympics 2020 and 2024 in track events. For Season III of the talent hunt, the trials were conducted in 120 nodal districts, covering around 600 adjoining districts, with special focus on country’s remote locations, tribal belts and north-east states. Over 1,40,000 children participated in the district trials and 3,500 children qualified for the state-level trials which were held at 20 locations. Out of them, 243 qualified for the National finale today.
GAIL (India) Limited and National Yuva Cooperative Society Limited (NYCS), in association with Anglian Medal Hunt Company, have together embarked on this grassroots athletics talent hunt program in 2015.This program aims to spot, screen, select and groom young athletes between the age groups of 11 to 15 years & 15 to 17 years in 100m, 200m and 400m track events across the country, furthering them through access to coaching, foreign training, physiotherapy, mental conditioning and other support services.
In the inaugural season of Indian Speed Star- NYCS GAIL Raftaar, the initial trials were conducted at 53 districts across 10 states, where more than 26,000 children participated and 9 of them were selected in different categories during the finale. The second season kick-started with initial trials conducted at 107 districts in which 1,13,478 children participated out of which 7 winners were selected.
The selected candidates are getting further training and have also got opportunity to participate in one international and two domestic training camps. The winners of previous seasons have shown significant improvement and performed well at various national & international competitions, such as Rio Olympics – 2016, Asian Athletics Championship, Odisha – 2017, World School games, Nancy, France – 2017, Youth Asian Games, Bangkok – 2017, World Youth Championship, Kenya – 2017, Youth Commonwealth Games, Bahamas – 2017, Khelo India 2018, etc. Some of these young talents have shown their mettle and even broke some records at various international championships.
For more information on Gail-Indian Speed Star please visit http://www.gailindianSpeed Star.org/
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