AFI to Expand National Coaching Camps Across India Starting Next Year
The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) will decentralize national coaching camps, hosting up to 20 camps across the country in 2024, to enhance training infrastructure and widen the athlete base.
The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) is set to diversify its approach to coaching camps, with plans to decentralize these camps across India beginning next year, as revealed by AFI President Adille Sumariwalla. However, the AFI will continue to conduct national camps at select venues for elite athletes preparing for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
Instead of concentrating national coaching camps primarily in three major cities—Bengaluru, Patiala, and Thiruvananthapuram—the AFI is shifting its strategy towards hosting as many as 20 camps across different regions of the country.
Sumariwalla explained, “The decision to decentralize national camps was made during AFI’s Special General Meeting, conducted virtually on Thursday. Establishing coaching camps in multiple regions will enhance the sports infrastructure and widen the pool of athletes.”
Sumariwalla, who also serves as one of the vice presidents of World Athletics, mentioned that the details of overseeing these coaching camps nationwide will be worked out soon.
“The AFI will form a committee to draft guidelines for overseeing the functioning of these camps spread across the nation,” the AFI President stated.
In preparation for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) will continue to host national camps for elite athletes in seven specific disciplines, including javelin (men and women), steeplechase (men and women), jumps (long and triple), throws (men’s shot put), race walking (both men and women), and the 4x400m relay (men and women).
“We have strong medal prospects in selected disciplines at the Olympic Games. Therefore, we want to maintain the training rhythm for the core group of athletes in these seven disciplines,” he added.
Typically, over 100 athletes are shortlisted for the national coaching camps in preparation for major competitions, including the Asian Games. However, with the decentralization approach, the AFI President expects the number of selected athletes for the camps to exceed 400.
“For each training center, the AFI may select approximately 50 athletes,” he elaborated.
The virtual Special General Meeting (SGM) was attended by over 60 officials, including representatives from state units. Notable former international athletes, such as Olympian and world bronze medalist Anju Bobby George, were also in attendance.
Sumariwalla noted that the majority of participants in the virtual meeting were in favor of conducting national coaching camps at multiple venues across the country.