Kozhikode: Sports Minister Vijay Goel on Saturday said that a special task force would be set up at the earliest to ensure better performance by the Indian athletes in the next three Olympics.
"The task force will be set up very soon to prepare a comprehensive plan for ensuring better performance by our athletes in the next three Olympics," he said after presenting awards to international and young athletes from Sports Authority of India (SAI) at a function at the Calicut University campus, near Kozhikode.
"As a step to find out young talents in various sporting disciplines across the country, irrespective of urban and rural divide, a special portal will be launched. Anyone representing any event can upload his/her personal data in the portal and SAI will ensure giving coaching to the person after verifying the 'genuineness' of the data," the minister said.
Seminars, symposiums and debates are being organised to analyse the performance of the athletes in the recently-concluded Rio Olympic Games.
"Maximum utilisation of facilities available in the country by the athletes will be ensured. Our intention is also to get the involvement of corporate sector so that the athletes will get the support," Goel said.
Medal winners of the Olympics and Paralympic Games have been nominated for the Padma awards, the Union minister said, adding, under 'Khelo India' project more schemes will be launched as a measure to give importance to sports in India.
"Indians will be given preference in the selection of coaches and the service of foreign coaches would be made available wherever Indian talents are not available," he said.
"Our stand is to provide maximum support and facilities for the athletes and coaches," Goal said while replying to a request made by the former Olympian and sprint queen PT Usha that opportunities like those in foreign countries should also be made available to the athletes here.
Goel, who was all praise for the sports facilities available in the campus, said efforts will be made to start a centre by SAI for training the athletes, if the University syndicate permits.
Vice-Chancellor Dr K Mohammed Basheer said the University stadium will be the venue for next month's state level school games.
National level tournaments — handball and basketball — will also be hosted by the University, he added.