New Delhi, Dec 17 (PTI) The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has set the ball rolling to set up infrastructure-rich centres of excellence in its sporting facilities to provide intensive training to talented sportspersons preparing for Olympics and other mega events, the urban body said Monday.

DDA Vice-Chairman Tarun Kapoor said this after felicitating and awarding cash prizes — Rs 5 lakh (gold medal) and Rs 3 lakh (silver medal) — to Asian Games 2018 medallists, who had trained at its sports complexes.

“We are very proud of their achievements and the fact that they brought laurels for the country after receiving training at DDA sports complexes. I also hope that more such achievers will emerge in the future,” he said.

Interacting with reporters at the Vikas Sadan here, Kapoor said, the DDA has also planned to tie up with the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs and the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to make these centres of excellence valuable training grounds for talented players competing in the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games, the Asian Games and other big sporting events.

The proposed centres will be developed at existing sporting facilities as well as in those coming up in the national capital, he said.

The DDA currently has 15 main sports complexes, besides three minor facilities, officials said. The major facilities include the Siri Fort Sport Complex, Yamuna Sports Complex, Squash and Badminton Stadium, Commonwealth Games Village Sports Complex, Chilla Sports Complex and the Qutub Golf Course.

“The centres of excellence proposed at the existing facilities are — for shooting (10 metre air rifle/pistol) and tennis at the Siri Fort complex, table tennis and hockey at the Yamuna complex, badminton and squash at the Squash and Badminton Stadium, athletics and swimming at the Commonwealth Games Village, wrestling, weightlifting, boxing and judo at the Chilla complex, and golf at the Qutub Golf Course,” Kapoor said.

The DDA vice-chairman said such centres of excellence have also been proposed to be set up at sites earmarked for new sporting facilities.

New sports complexes are coming up in Dwarka and Rohini. A centre of excellence has been proposed for wrestling, weightlifting, boxing, judo and kabbadi at the 9.78-ha facility coming up in Dwarka’s Sector 8, the DDA said.

Centres of excellence have been proposed for football and hockey, and aquatics at the new complexes planned at Dwarka’s Sector 23 and Rohini’s Sector 33, respectively, among others, the senior official said.

The sportspersons felicitated by the DDA at its headquarters are — Divij Sharan, gold medallist (tennis- men’s doubles), and silver medallists Tanvi Khanna (squash-women’s team) and Aman Saini (archery- men’s compound team).

Silver medallist Abhishek Verma (archery – men’s compound team) is currently in Rome for an event, so his mother accepted the prize on his behalf, a senior DDA official said. The Games were held early this year in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.

“These centres of excellence will have facilities of international standards, and we will also upgrade existing sports complexes where such centres would be developed so that players can get intensive and advanced training,” Kapoor said.

“We also have many eminent coaches training players or running our facilities at some places. Besides existing set-ups, we will also tie up with the Sports Ministry and the SAI to get the best of the talent, who can be avail these facilities and make us proud in the world arena,” he added.

Sharan (32), who has been trained and coached at the Siri Fort Sport Complex since 2005, said the facilities at the Siri complex was “up to global standards”.

“I have been training for nearly 15 years, and the hard work and the good infrastructure can really make a player blossom. I hope these centres of excellence motivate sportspersons to give their best,” the ace tennis player told PTI.

Kapoor said the DDA sought to address the shortcomings at its complexes, and the Sports department has already assessed the situation in one go for all the facilities.

“In six months, these shortcomings will begin to be addressed and in one year, people will see the difference,” he said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.