The Sports Authority of India (SAI) (Hindi: भारतीय खेल प्राधिकरण) is an apex National Sports body set up in 1984 by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India for broad basing and bringing excellence in sports across India. It has 9 Regional Centres which are located at Bengaluru, Gandhinagar, Chandigarh,Kolkata, Imphal, Guwahati, Bhopal, Mumbai,Lucknow and Sonepat;and two Academic institutions viz. Netaji Subhash National Institute of Sports(NS NIS), Patiala and Laxmibai National College of Physical Education (LNCPE),Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala). Through NS NIS Patiala and some of the regional centres at Bengaluru, Kolkata and Thiruvananthapuram SAI offers a variety of courses in sports coaching and sports medicine and SAI LNCPE, Thiruvananthapuram conducts graduate and post-graduate courses in physical education.
SAI ACADEMIES AND REGIONAL CENTRES :
It also has a high altitude Training Centre at Shillaroo, Himachal Pradesh.
SAI is also entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining, utilising and upgrading the following five Stadia in Delhi:
• Jawaharlal Nehru Sports Complex
• Indira Gandhi Sports Complex
• Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium
• Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Swimming Pool Complex
• Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range
After independence, on 7 May 1961, the National Institute of Sports (NIS) was set up for the development of sports at the Motibagh Palace grounds in Patiala. On 23 January 1973, it was renamed Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports (NSNIS).
The Sports Authority of India originated with the committee formed to host the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi. In 1984 the SAI was established by of the Department of Sports, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India. On 25 January 1984, Sports Authority of India was established as a registered society. On 1 May 1987, the Society for National Institute of Physical Education and Sports (SNIPES) was merged with it and as a result, the Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports (NSNIS), Patiala and its allied centres at Bhopal, Bangalore, Kolkata and Gandhinagar and the Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education at Thiruvananthapuram came under Sports Authority of India. The NSNIS, Patiala and the Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education, Thiruvananthapuram became its academic wings. In 1995, LNCPE Gwalior became a separate "Deemed University"
SAI has two Academic Wings which provide certificate courses in physical education, sports and sports medicine, namely, Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports (NSNIS), Patiala for coaches and the Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education (LNCPE) at Thiruvananthapuram.
NSNIS, Patiala conducts the following programmes:
Diploma Course in Sports Coaching
Masters Course in Sports Coaching
Certificate Course in Sports Coaching
Post-graduate Diploma Course in Sports Medicine
LNCPE, Thiruvananthapuram conducts the following courses :
Bachelor of Physical Education (BPE)
Master of Physical Education (MPE)
Regular and Part-time Ph.D programmes
In 1983 - A Department of Sports Science was established at NSNIS, Patiala to impart education in academic courses like Diploma/Masters in Sports Coaching.
1987-90 - Basic sports science back-up started for National Athletes and also SAI schemes for children at various regional centres. Moreover, sports science centres (Human Performance Lab) were set up at 4 regional centres in Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Gandhinagar.
Qualified and well experienced sports scientists from the fields of Anthropometry, Physiology, Psychology, Biomechanics, Nutrition and GTMT, doctors,sports physiotherapists and nutritionists constantly endeavour to raise the level of players in competitions. SAI has been in technical collaboration with various reputed Indian and foreign sports science and medical institutes to further strengthen the scientific backup for trainees and to initiate research.
This is the backbone of SAI which provides support to the National Sports Federations (NSFs) in the preparation of National Teams which participate in various International events. The TEAMS Division coordinates the Long Term Development Plan of each NSF; provides logistics and training support at various academic institutions and other Regional Centres of SAI and also at selected training centres outside SAI. The TEAMS Division draws most of its funding under the Scheme of “Assistance to National Sports Federations” from Sports Ministry. The TEAMS Division also provides support to the NSFs in the hiring of foreign coaches and selection of the national coach for each NSF, who are responsible for the training of core probables for the National teams.
With active support from TEAMS Division, good results have been achieved in the international arena in the disciplines of Badminton, Judo, Shooting, Archery, Athletics, Weightlifting, Wrestling, Wushu, Boxing and Billiards & Snooker.
Under this Scheme of “Assistance to National Sports Federations”, financial assistance is provided to recognised NSFs for training and participation of teams in international events abroad, organisation of national and international tournaments in India, coaching and training of national teams under Indian and foreign coaches with requisite technical and scientific support, procurement of equipment etc.
It is SAI’s constant endeavor to engage expert foreign coaches on short term and long term basis to train and coach national coaching campers and also to facilitate knowledge exchange with Indian coaches.
In an year, SAI organises a number of national coaching camps in different disciplines in SAI centres and other centres for preparation of Indian teams for various national and international tournaments.
This scheme envisages the preparation of long term development plans by National Sports Federations (NSFs) based on a four-year cycle with yearly review. The plans are to cover all aspects of sports including development of sportsperson, coaching, participation, promotion, tournament schedule, hosting of major events and sports sciences, etc. The plans are finalised jointly by Ministry, SAI and respective federations.
Different sports promotion schemes of SAI, aimed at spotting and nurturing talent are being implemented and monitored through the networks of SAI centres.
SAI SCHEMES AT A GLANCE:
The Sports Authority of India conducts various activities and schemes to promote sports in India. they include:
NSTC scheme provides the school environment to play and study for talented 8-14 year olds who are at the right age for higher level training in competitive sports. The selection of trainees is done on the basis of potential and performance and they are admitted to schools on a non-residential basis.
The main objectives of the scheme are to:
• Identify educational institutions having good sports infrastructure
• Scientifically scout for optimum-aged talent
• Convert the genetically and physiologically gifted children into future champions
• Ensure availability of trained coaches
• Ensure financial assistance for consumables
• Give adequate competition exposure and sports equipment
b) Akharas to create a broader base for modern wrestling
a) 14 Regular schools with 11 disciplines namely Athletics, Basketball, Football, Gymnastics, Hockey, Kho-Kho, Kabaddi, Swimming, Table Tennis, Volleyball and Wrestling.
b) 10 Indigenous Games & Martial Arts (IGMA) with 9 disciplines, namely, Archery, Kabaddi, Kalaripayatu, Mukna, Thang-Ta, Silambam, Khomlainai, Malkhamb & Gatka.
The Army has joined hands with SAI to nurture and groom talented boys in the age group of 8 to 14 years. These companies act as virtual sports schools where training is scientifically backed up and support facility is provided throughout the training period. The trainees are entitled to an assured career in the Armed Forces at 17½ years. The selection of trainees is done on the basis of performance and potential assessed through a battery of tests. Their activities include:
• Nurturing budding talent
• Improving the achievements tally in international sports competitions
• Using the Army’s excellent infrastructure and disciplined administrative environment
The Sports Project Development Area Centres (SPDA) and Sports Hostel Scheme were merged in 1995 to create SAI Training Centres (STC), in collaboration with the State Govt./UT Administrations. The trainees are admitted into the scheme on residential and non-residential basis.
The main objectives of the scheme are to:
• Train talented young sportspersons aged 12–18 years (Sub-Junior/Junior)
• Identify those who have attained advanced levels of proficiency in sports.
• Identify those who show natural potential in the Olympic disciplines, indigenous and other sports. • Provide in-house coaching, training and nutritional support to sportspersons.
Though similar to STC Centres, the focus of the SAG Centres is on popular indigenous games. It is focused on spotting and nurturing talent in specific disciplines in tribal, coastal and hilly areas, and later grooms them to achieve excellence in the related modern competitive games and sports. The SAG Centres are fully funded by SAI, but land has to be provided by the State Governments or other institutions like universities, etc.
Started in 2005, the basic concept of this scheme is to develop sports standards in schools, colleges and universities having commendable sporting performance and adequate infrastructure. The schools/colleges/ universities are required to agree with the norms laid down by SAI. The Extension Centres are monitored by the nearest STC/SAG and the Regional Centre Head under which it falls. The power to sanction such Centres rests with DG, SAI.
The Centres of Excellence (CoEs) identifies and trains talented sportspersons in the age group of 12–25 years who have shown promise at the sub junior, junior and senior National Competitions for 330 days in a year. State-of-the-art facilitie
SAI introduced ‘Come and Play Scheme’ in May 2011 for optimum utilisation of its 5 stadia in Delhi. The designated areas in the SAI Stadia were thrown open for community sports.
‘Come and Play Scheme’ received a very enthusiastic response and trainees enrolled for using the sports facilities in disciplines such as Badminton, Boxing, Basketball, Cricket, Cycling, Football, Hockey, Gymnastics, Judo, Shooting, Swimming, Table Tennis, Volleyball, Weightlifting and Wrestling. SAI has extended ‘Come and Play Scheme’ to all centres of SAI spread across the country to encourage the youth in the local area to use sports facilities available at these centres.
‘Come and Play Scheme’ has also led to talent scouting. Meritorious talent emerging from this Scheme forms a pool for induction into regular residential and non-residential sports promotional schemes of STC and SAG.
SAI participated in 2015-16 Calcutta Premier League with a team named SAI Darjeeling.