Union minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju launched the Assam Rifles Public School (ARPS) in Shillong as a Khelo India Sports School on Monday. At present, 9 sports schools have been approved across the country, out of which 5 are managed by defence and para-military forces. In the north-east region, Assam Rifles Public School is the first sports school announced under Khelo India scheme.
The government shall now bear the expenses for talented sports students of the school in terms of lodging, boarding, education expenses, competition exposure, insurance and medical, sports training and support, salary of coaches and support staff, sports equipment and more. The objective of a Khelo India Sports School is to integrate sports with education and in the process, develop sports in the country and improve the overall profile and outlook of athletes. This will also help in the identification and upliftment of talent from north-eastern, rural or tribal areas.
“It is a historic beginning of a journey for the Assam Rifles Public School and this Khelo India sports centre will be nurturing young boys and girls, who will in the long run bring medals from the Olympics,” said Rijiju.
The Assam Rifles Public School was designated as a Khelo India Sports School because of a good track record in academics and sports, adequate boarding and lodging (hostel) facilities, sufficient space to develop sports facilities and inclination to develop Olympic sports under an inter-ministerial partnership between the ministry of youth affairs and sports and the ministry of home affairs. The disciplines finalised for the school are archery, athletics and fencing with a total intake strength of 100 athletes (boys and girls in equal ratio) for the first year.