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Ministry clears funds for Saina, Gowda under TOP scheme

Part of the Sports Ministry’s Target Olympic Podium (TOP) scheme, world number one shuttler Saina Nehwal and star discus thrower Vikas Gowda have been sanctioned financial assistance for hiring their respective coaches and cover some other training-related expenses ahead of next year’s Olympics.

Saina has been granted Rs 10.81 lakh for hiring Vimal Kumar as personal coach effective from June this year till the Olympics.

The money will cover the cost of hiring him and payment of remuneration to him at the rate of Rs one lakh per month during the period, the Sports Ministry said in a statement.

Besides, the Ministry has also sanctioned Rs 10.81 lakh for her to “purchase Gym equipments namely (a) Leg Press and (b) Functional Trainer”.

For Gowda, the NSDF funds will cover the cost of his “training from December 2014 to August 2015 and November 2015 to August 2016 (Total 19 months) at a total budget of Rs. 112.50 lakhs allocated under TOP Scheme”.

Approval was also conveyed for financial assistance for his training at World Athletics Center Phoenix, Arizona (USA) as under.

“The Ministry has approved the release of 90 per cent of the estimated expenses of training for the period from June to August 2015 (03 months).”

The expenses covered are coaching fee (USD 9000) and other training expenses (USD 19200).

Besides, the Ministry has also approved the sending of sparring partners and officials with the Indian Wrestling Team to USA for training and participation in competition during August-September.

Sushil Kumar, who has opted out of the World Championships owing to an injury, will be travelling with the team as an official, while four male and three female wrestlers have been approved to accompany the side as sparring partners.

The financial assistance from National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) is out of the contribution made by the India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL), under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative, to the Target Olympic Podium Scheme under the National Sports Development Fund.