Indian athletes preparing well for Asian Games at national camps, says IOA chief PT Usha

Usha, a legendary track and field athlete, emphasised the need to nurture talent at a young age and at the grassroots level.

ByPTI

Published Mar 04, 2023 | 1:52 PMUpdated Mar 04, 2023 | 1:52 PM

Indian athletes preparing well for Asian Games at national camps, says IOA chief PT Usha

Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President PT Usha on Friday, 3 March, said that athletes are preparing well for the Asian Games, which is due to happen later this year, and that the various training camps are going on well.

“The Asian Games is coming up this year. The Olympics is also coming up (next year) and a lot of preparation is going on in different national camps. The government is already conducting national camps in different places,” she said.

She added, “We have to first give priority to athletes who are participating in the national camp. Coaching camps and the rest are going on well too.”

Usha, who is now also a Rajya Sabha member, was speaking to reporters in Chennai on the sidelines of the launch of the Little Millennium Kids Marathon.

‘Need to support grassroots level’

Usha, a retired track and field athlete, emphasised the need to nurture talent at a young age and at the grassroots level.

“I can say that a lot of talent is there in our country. The only issue is that there is not much support at the grassroots level. So, we have good schemes like Khelo India,” she added.

“There will be good players or good athletes in the 12-13 years age group. So, we have to give them support. That’s what I’m doing through my academy. This kind of help I want to give in every state,” the 58-year old Indian legend added.

Usha, who runs an athletics academy in Kerala, said that she was happy to groom youngsters, which is a tough but enjoyable job.

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Systematic approach is needed

She also batted for support at the grassroots level and said, “At the grassroot level, it should be very systematic, then the players (athletes) will do better in the future.”

Laying emphasis on systematic scouting and training, Usha said, “You need talent scouting in every state and some centres should be there for the systematic and scientific way of talent scouting and training. Everything should be systematic, every state should have this type of academy.”

Usha also urged parents to encourage their children to take up sports and further called for awareness on child abuse.

The Little Millennium Kids Marathon to be held in Chennai on Saturday is being organised to raise awareness on child abuse.

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