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In a major development, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) has started inviting applications from Olympians and para-Olympians for the post of coaches and assistant coaches to be engaged at its various National Centers of Excellence.
Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said the idea was to attract the best talent from the world of sport to coaching, reported Hindustan Times. It further reported that a parliamentary standing committee formed to oversee the preparation for the upcoming Olympic Games had made some strong observations on the dearth of coaches in SAI centres.
"About 561 vacancies exist for coaches. This is unacceptable." the committee had noted in its report which was submitted last month.
Reports have mentioned that to be eligible for the post of an assistant coach, an Olympian should not be more than 30 years, while a coach (Olympian/Paralympian) should not be more than 35 years. The scheme is mainly meant for active athletes who are still competing at the highest level and will be allowed to continue with their sporting career, even as they chart out a career after retirement.
Additionally, they will need to pursue a diploma in sports coaching which is being offered by the National Institute of Sports in Patiala( if not already taken up).
"Olympians/Para-Olympians are given the opportunity to work in SAI as a coach. In fact, the medal winners in the Olympics and Para Olympics have (been) directly recruited in Group 'A' position in SAI to show the gratitude for their service to the country," SAI said in an official statement.
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