Pune: Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports of Government of India has awarded the Army Sports Institute in Pune with Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar 2020 under the category of ‘Identification and Nurturing of Budding and Young Talent’.
Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar is given to the corporate entities, both in private and public sector, and individuals who have played a visible role in the area of sports promotion and development.
A large number of applications were received for the awards this year, which were considered by the Selection Committee headed by Justice Retd Mukundakam Sharma, former Judge of Supreme Court of India and other members comprising eminent sportspersons, persons having experience in sports journalism and sports administration, etc.
Army Sports Institute, Pune was raised as part of Indian Army’s “Mission Olympics” programme on Jul 1, 2001. The aim was to train the vast reservoir of talent in the Army in selected seven disciplines to include Archery, Athletics, Boxing, Diving, Fencing, Weightlifting and Wrestling with an ultimate aim of winning medals at Olympics. The institute draws its sportsmen from the Army as well as from young raw and proven talent in ‘Boys Sports Companies’ of 8 to 14 years age. These sportsmen are supported by a team of Foreign, Indian coaches, physical conditioners, specialists in Sports Medicine, Physiology, Psychology, Biomechanics, Statistics and Nutrition.
20 sportsmen of ASI have participated in the Olympics and twelve sportsmen have already qualified for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics with more yet to qualify. The Institute has won six (06) Youth Olympic Medals, nineteen (19) medals in Asian Games and eighteen medals (18) in Commonwealth Games.
In the last three years itself, the sportsmen trained at ASI have won 450 International and 1118 National medals with a number of firsts and records. In the last three editions of Khelo India, the sportsmen have won one hundred and twenty-five (125) medals in five disciplines. The success achieved is being done through igniting the minds to engage in 'Big Thinking' coupled with ownership, perseverance and passion.