‘Want to see India in top 10 at 2028 Olympics’ - Kiren Rijiju sets target at Khelo India Centres of Excellence inaugurations

The centres will be developed into world-class training facilities to mould world-class athletes

By Samrat Chakraborty ·

Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju has set an ambitious target for the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles as he inaugurated eight new Khelo India State Centres of Excellence (KISCE) on Wednesday in a virtual ceremony.

The eight states where the new Centres of Excellence were opened are Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Kerala, Telangana, Nagaland, Karnataka and Odisha.

Several high-ranking ministers and officials were also part of the launch including Sandip Pradhan, Director-General, Sports Authority of India (SAI).

“The Khelo India State Centre of Excellence are being established to strengthen India’s pursuit for excellence at the Olympics. Our effort is to scale up the best sporting facilities available in each state in India into world-class academies,” Rijiju said during the function.

He reiterated that his vision was to ensure the new centres will help India produce elite athletes who will bring India success in the Olympics. Rijiju went on to state that the ministry’s aim is to see India finish inside the top 10 places in the medal tally of the 2028 Olympics which is slated to be held in Los Angeles, USA.

"The Central and State govt has to work together and we will provide all necessary financial assistance so they develop with proper infrastructure and manpower, sports science, high-quality training and so on. We cannot be satisfied with only 1-2 medals, we have to be in top 10 in the 2028 (Olympics),” he added.

The centres identified are as follows:

Nagaland- State Sports Academy, IG Stadium Kohima 

Manipur - Khuman Lampak Sports Complex, Imphal

Arunachal Pradesh - Sangey Lhaden Sports Academy, Chimpu Itanagar

Mizoram - Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, Aizawl

Odisha - Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneshwar

Telangana - Regional Sports School Hakimpet 

Karnataka - Sh. Jayaprakash Narayan National Youth Centre Bangalore

Kerala - GV Raja Sr. Sec. Sports School Thiruvananthapuram

The KISCEs will identify talented athletes proficient in a sport and give them specialised world-class training. The minister further revealed that these centres will be developed into the best training facilities available in the country in each sport for which funding is received.

The KISCEs will also benefit from infrastructure upgradation, establishment of sports science centres, physiotherapists and strength and conditioning programmes apart from a High Performance Manager who will oversee the funding and development of these centres.