SAI offers its facilities to NSFs for free | More sports News

PUNE: The National Sports Federations in the country have got a shot in the arm as the Sports Authority of India (SAI) has decided to provide its facilities free of cost to conduct national and international tournaments.

SAI will not only waive off the rentals for the NSFs, but will also bear the overhead charges during the national or international tournaments.

The benefits will be huge for the federations and the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) will be the early beneficiary as they will save almost Rs 20 lakh in rent and almost Rs 30 lakh for electricity charges when they conduct the ISSF World Cup in May and June.

Talking about the initiative, sports minister Kiren Rijiju said the move will help federations in hosting more tournaments in the future.

“We want to have as many sporting events of the highest competitive level in the country as possible to provide exposure to our athletes to compete among themselves and with international athletes. We are keen to host events where athletes from various countries compete in India so that our athletes get a chance to gauge their own sporting merit,” Rijiju told TOI.

“The decision to provide all SAI facilities free for sportspersons and for competitions of a certain level was taken a few months back, but now we have strengthened that decision by waiving off fees of overhead costs like electricity, water et al, so that organizations can host good quality competitions at controlled costs,” he added.

NRAI secretary general Rajiv Bhatia said that the move will take a lot of burden off the federations. “We not only conduct international tournaments like the World Cups, but also conduct national trials at the Dr Karni Singh ranges, which comes under the SAI. So be it the WC or the trials, we used to spend similar amounts as rent or overhead charges. The waiver will help us and even other federations in organizing tournaments in better capacity,” Bhatia said.

Additionally, the NRAI will also get a waiver of Rs 44 lakh for retail stalls rental at the premises.

With high rent and overhead cost for using air conditioners and electricity, most of the SAI facilities used to go underutilized. SAI director general Sandip Pradhan feels things will change for good now.

“We fund the federations to send our athletes to train and compete abroad, while we don’t provide them the similar environment in our own country. Barring a few federations, many sports bodies find it difficult to rent SAI facilities as the rent and other overhead charges are too much for them to bear. Hence the facilities go underutilized. We feel this move will help the federations conduct their tournaments at SAI’s international facilities,” Pradhan said.

The SAI provides Rs 30 lakh to federations for conducting international meets, while 5-10 lakh for conducting nationals. Pradhan said earlier the fund was paid back by the federations to pay the rentals to SAI.

“The financial support that is given to the federations is low anyway, so it was decided to waive off the charges the federations can now use the money for other expenses.”

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