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GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF YOUTH AFFAIRS AND SPORTS
LOK SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO: 1821
ANSWERED ON:  29.07.2021
Target Olyhmpic Podium Scheme
Achyutananda Samanta
Will the Minister of



YOUTH AFFAIRS AND SPORTS be pleased to state:-


(a) the details of the funding provided to potential Olympic medal winners under the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), sports-wise;

(b) whether the Government has taken any steps to facilitate specialised training camps for the athletes during lockdown considering India has been under frequent lockdowns since last year due to COVID-19 which has adversely impacted the training schedules of athletes and if so, the details thereof; and

(c) whether the Government has taken the steps to look after the mental health of athletes during the lockdown and if so, the details thereof?


ANSWER
THE MINISTER FOR YOUTH AFFAIRS AND SPORTS
[SHRI ANURAG SINGH THAKUR]

(a): Under the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), customized training and allied facilities are being made available to potential Olympic medal winners. 162 athletes and 01 Hockey Men’s & 01 Hockey Women’s teams are included in the TOPS Core Group and 254 athletes are included in the TOPS Development Group.

In addition to above, Out of pocket allowance (OPA) is paid to TOPS athletes selected in Core Group at the rate of Rs.50,000 per month and to Development Group at the rate of Rs.25,000 per month.

The total expenditure incurred under the TOP Scheme during the last three years and current year is given below:

Expenditure under TOPS Scheme
<pre>
Financial Year Total Expenditure
2018-19 Rs. 14,31,60, 496
2019-20 Rs. 12,41,38,012
2020-21 Rs. 15,65,86,361
Current year 2021-22 (As on 20.07.2021) Rs. 11,87,34,351
</pre>
The discipline-wise details of the above expenditure are provided at Annexure.

(b): Due to outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, all the conventional training programmes being conducted in all Sports Authority of India (SAI) centres across the country, under various SAI Sports Promotional Schemes were temporarily suspended and the foreign training of Indian athletes were also curtailed. However, the training was resumed in accordance with the guidelines issued by Ministry of Home Affairs.

In the view of the COVID-19 pandemic, inter-alia, the following measures were taken to ensure a smooth training for the sportspersons including those who qualified for Tokyo Olympics, so that their performance is not affected:

i. The Ministry issued the following Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and Guidelines for sports related activities in the COVID-19 environment:
a. SOP for resumption of swimming training of sportspersons in COVID-19 environment.
b. SOP for Organizing Sports Competitions in the Country in a COVID-19 environment.
c. SOP for opening up of Stadia for Sports events.
d. SOP for operation of Swimming Pools in a Covid-19 Environment.

ii. In order to implement Non-Conventional Training Methods, Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) were laid down by Sports Authority of India (SAI), an autonomous body under the aegis of the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports to resume sports activities in the training centres under the name of “Khelo India-Firr Se”. The SOP covers all stakeholders at the training centres including athletes, technical and non-technical support staff, administrative staff, hostel and facility management staff and visitors to the centre.
iii. A COVID Task Force Committee was set-up to ensure the guidelines are strictly implemented at the training centre. The committee is responsible for the constant monitoring and management of the health protocols of the government.
iv. The SOP categorizes the sporting disciplines into non-contact sports, minimal/medium-contact sports, full contact sports and water sports.
v. The athletes were provided with necessary sporting equipment such as (Barbell Rods, weights, Exercise Bicycle etc.), air pellets, target system with the help from SAI Regional Centres, State Governments and NGOs at their homes during the first phases of nationwide lockdown so that they can train within their homes.
vi. Regular Online Trainings / Classes were conducted for athletes by the coaches to keep them motivated and fit during lock down period. Athletes were provided with online training module for daily practice.
vii. Regular interaction with the athletes was done in order to boost their morale and keep them motivated in these tough times. Seminars and workshops by experts in sports psychology, sports science/medicating, nutrition in COVID 19, strength and conditioning, high performance sports environment, anti-doping have been organized via, video conferencing, social media like Facebook Live, Instagram Live etc., to educate athletes about how to cope with stress and depression during tough times and focusing on their objectives so that the training is not hampered.
viii. Athletes & Coach Education Programme and Coach Development Programme (ACEP/CDP) were conducted and lectures were delivered by the Foreign Coaches and Sports Experts in different sports discipline. Total 10483 coaches in various sports discipline session and 3818 coaches’ sports science session participated.
ix. The athletes were provided with necessary sporting equipment to enable them to keep fit. Further, those Olympic bound athletes who could not go back to their places due to lock down were given equipment in their rooms for training in SAI Centres.
x. National Coaching Camps have been resumed for the Olympic bound athletes. The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) has been formulated for conduct of safe training.
xi. One week “Soft Skill Development & Sensitization” programme and COVID-19 awareness programme were conducted for athletes.
xii. During the second wave of Covid-19, athletes were sent abroad for training or trained in the training camps with social distancing, so that they may remain unaffected by the ongoing pandemic in the country.
xiii. Vaccination Drive for Olympic bound athletes, National Campers and their Coaches, Support Staff was initiated in the month of April 2021 at Sports Authority of India centres with the help of local authorities. In addition, the Govt. has ensured that few athletes who are training abroad also receive their vaccinations timely.
xiv. The Government has facilitated relaxation in the travel restrictions for the Indian athletes to the other countries for participating in Olympic Qualifiers and Competitions before the start of the Tokyo Olympics.
xv. A quick response injury and management rehabilitation cell was established under the Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) comprising expert panel of physicians, physiotherapists, and musculoskeletal experts to monitor the injury prevention protocols of Olympic bound athletes.
xvi. Considering the fact that Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is being held under unique circumstances, orientation/sensitization programs for athletes and their support staff in collaboration with the Indian Olympics Association has been conducted as under:

• Playing Clean: Overview of all the functional information and protocols related to antidoping that are applicable for participation at the Olympics.
• Life at Tokyo: Orientation of rules, regulations and protocols that the athletes (and the support staff) would have to adhere to before travel, on arrival and while staying at the Olympic Games village.
• From India, with pride: Obligations and expectations of being an ideal ambassador of India with an emphasis on understanding Japanese culture and etiquettes, addressing lingual barriers and realizing the social responsibilities as an athlete.

(c): Services of support staff/personnel like Physical Trainer, Sports Psychologist, Mental Trainer and Physiotherapist etc. is provided to all the sportspersons under Target Olympic Podium Scheme. Sport Psychology Cell has been established to map the requirements of athletes. Headed by Sr. SAI Sports Psychologist, the Cell is responsible for monitoring the psychological and mental training requirements of the athletes and providing them with necessary assistance where required.

Regular interaction with the athletes was done in order to boost their morale and keep them motivated in the tough times of pandemic. Seminars and workshops by experts in sports psychology, sports science/medicine, nutrition in Covid, strength & conditioning, high performance sports environment, anti-doping have been organized for TOPS athletes via, video conferencing, social media like Facebook Live, Insta Live etc., to educate athletes about how to cope with stress during tough times and focusing on their objectives so that the training is not hampered.

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