Bhubaneswar: The State Government on Thursday inked an Expression of Intent (EOI) with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) to build an academy for athletes in the Kalinga stadium here.
The EOI, signed in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, is for establishing an ‘Odisha-AFI-IAAF High Performance Academy’, to provide coaching, integrated support services and education to athletes and junior potential elite athletes of the state.
First time in the history of sports, the IAAF has shook hands with a State for establishing the academy instead of dealing with the government at national level.
With this Odisha will be proud to have the eighth High Performance Training Centre (HPTC) in the globe while only seven of them are in the cities- Eldoret in Kenya, Beijing in China, Cali in Columbia, Dakar in Senegal, Gold Coast in Australia, Kingston in Jamaica and Mauritius in Mascarene Islands.
Signing of the EOI was significant as it took place a day after the Asian Athletics Championship was declared open by the chief minister here last evening.
“The academy will provide professional environment and approach to athletes in track and field events in which the athletes with potential can grow and develop into champion performer,” said Patnaik.
It would provide excellent coaching and integrated support services and educational experience for the athletes, which will build their mental skill, confidence, focus and determination, he said.