The Sports Authority of India on Friday appointed 11 Olympians and three Para Olympians as coaches and assistant coaches in their respective sports.
Those appointed included athletes like national quartermilers Muhammad Anas and Ashwini Akkunji, Mariyappan Thangavelu and OP Jaisha.
Anas, 24, won three silver medals at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, while Ashwini had clinched the top-honours at the 2010 Commonwealth and Asian Games. They along with nine others are expected to join on January 5 next year.
This is our way of acknowledging the contribution made by these sportspersons to the country. We want sportspersons, who have represented the country in the most competitive, elite events of the world, to be associated with sports throughout their professional careers and even after they retire,” Neelam Kapur was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India. Kapur is the DG of SAI.
We want to harness their vast experience towards training young, prospective medal winners.”
Not only will the appointments help them try a hand in coaching but will also strengthen the athletes financially, while also helping them in participating in future international tournaments as athletes.
Thangavelu, who claimed a gold medal in high jump at Para Olympics 2016, will join as coach in Group A. Other Paralympians Sharad Kumar (High Jump) and Ankur Dhama (1500m) have also been offered coaching contracts.