Meerut, April 13: The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) Sunday announced they will be launching the National Schools Athletics Championships and the National Inter-Collegiate Athletics Championships in 2015.
Both these events will aim to create a springboard for budding talent and also provide lucrative prize money and selection for national camps. A few prominent broadcasters have also contacted AFI for the live telecast of the collegiate meet.
“Motivating the children in schools and college youth will be the key to making athletics a mass sport. AFI is confident that the two championships will attract the cream of talent in India and also support from sponsors and broadcasters,” AFI president Adille J. Sumariwalla said after a two-day AFI Annual General Meeting (AGM) concluded here Sunday.
Several other important decisions were also taken including the announcement of AFI working on hosting an international Grand Prix.
“The AFI is planning to bring a world class event to India and we are already in touch with our counterparts in other countries and hopeful that they will send their top athletes to participate,” Sumariwalla added.
In a major boost to the development of juniors, AFI has appointed Dronacharya Awardee J.S. Bhatia, who mentored the likes of the legendary P.T. Usha and Asian Games gold medallist Sudha Singh, as the chief coach of the junior national athletics team. The federation also appointed Wazir Singh as the chief coach of the youth athletics team.
Meanwhile, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has been awarded full membership of AFI.