With Paris and LA Olympics in sight, SAI to hire more than 300 sports scientists

The moves aim to support the athletes and improve India's performance in the next two Olympic Games

By Olympic Channel Writer
Picture by Credit: SAI Twitter

The structure of the entire workforce of Sports Authority of India and Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) secretariat will be overhauled following a SAI governing body meeting on Tuesday.

It was done to further support the athletes and build on India's record performance at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The meeting was chaired by the union minister of youth affairs and sports Anurag Singh Thakur while several imminent sportspersons like Bhaichung Bhutia, Akhil Kumar, Trupti Murgunde and Kamlesh Mehta were also present.

“Our emphasis is on sports science and performance management and with the restructuring, SAI will hire around 300 more scientific staff including 138 high performance analysts, 23 high performance directors, 23 sports medicine doctors, 93 physiotherapists and 104 masseurs. Further posts have been created for 50 high performance coaches at the NCOEs for targeted performance at international events, especially the Olympics,” said Thakur on restructuring.

New positions will also be created for strength and conditioning experts, performance analysts, biomechanists, psychologists, video analysts, physiologists, so that the athletes can get the best of facilities in India.

Within TOPS, new departments will be created, which would include sports development, partnerships, policy and learning, to further help athletes. There will also be a renewed push to lure corporate funding through CSR initiatives.

It has been decided that out-of-turn promotions will be awarded to medal winners of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics athletes who are SAI employees. National women’s hockey team goalkeeper Savita Punia, has been promoted from assistant coach to coach, and women’s hockey team captain Rani Rampal, has been promoted to senior coach. Meanwhile, hockey coach Piyush Dubey has also been promoted to senior coach.

Paralympian high jumper Mariyappan Thangavelu has been elevated to the position of chief coach. Sharad Kumar has also been given a higher position to that of a coach from an assistant coach. This is an attempt to acknowledge their incredible performances at the Tokyo Olympics.

An amount of Rs 6.87 lakhs has been approved as one-time grant to late boxer Dingko Singh's family. The Asian Gold medalist passed away in June 2021.