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Catch 'em young: Ministry hunts for sports talent

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NEW DELHI: The Sports Ministry is to set up a Talent Search Portal shortly to give a fair opportunity to talented children from every nook and corner of the country to pursue their dreams of achieving excellence in sports. Jolted by the poor performance of India at the Rio Olympics, the ministry had already begun a process to examine India's performance.

The plan is to target talented children of eight years and above.
Efforts will be made to involve National Sports Federations, corporate houses and other stake-holders in the programme.

Sports Minister Vijay Goel said in a statement that details of the performance and potential of a child including video and photographs could be uploaded on the portal by children, their parents, relatives, teachers and others on the portal. A format will be available on the portal to capture the key details of the child.

After due scrutiny, children with potential will be given an opportunity to appear for a battery of tests which could be conducted at the nearest Sports Authority of India Centre and others. Those who pass will be admitted to the training centres of SAI.

The ministry will also persuade the state governments and others to admit some of such children in their centres. Such talented children who are not able to leave their current places of residence for any reason may be offered a scholarship to help them pursue excellence in sports.

The portal will allow talented children to stake their claim for support including admission to sports training centres from the comforts of their homes and will simplify procedures. It will be particularly beneficial to the disadvantaged sections of the society.

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