The Centre has started a sports scheme, National Physical Fitness Programme (NPFP), on the pattern of the Sports and Physical Aptitude Test (SPAT) programme of Haryana. Confirming this, Ajay Maken, Union Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs, has also said that sports persons who have represented the country in the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, and Asian Games, would be appointed as coaches, with posts of Group B officers. Initially 200 such coaches would be appointed by the Sports Authority of India (SAI). He was speaking at a function after inaugurating a Sports Training Centre of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) at Meham (Rohtak Dist.). Haryana has already provided govt jobs to 424 players, and cash awards of Rs 50.52 crores have been disbursed.
SPAT, in Haryana, is a sports talent hunt program. Promising players in the 8 to 19 years age group are picked up. Today 20 lakh children are associated with this Program. 5,600 children have been selected initially, and are being provided monthly scholarships, and training across 139 sports nurseries, 16 sports academies, and 72 sports wings. The sports policy of the State focuses on creating the infrastructure, hunting for talent, and securing the future of sports persons. Haryana today has 2 State level stadia, 21 District level stadia, and 135 rural stadia (with 91 more under construction). Haryana has set a target of 12 medals at the next Rio Olympics in 2016.
Haryana already has finalized a Right To Play (RTP) programme – which was a cover story of FG in the August 10th issue.