The Gujarat government is planning to employ Khel Sahayaks (sports assistants) in approximately 5,000 secondary schools covered by the Mission School of Excellence project. The Sahayks will be appointed on a contractual basis in specific schools to identify and nurture sporting talents in the state, which is aiming to host the Olympic Games in 2036.
Education Minister Kuber Dindor made the announcement during his speech on various budgetary demands of the department in the Gujarat Assembly on Monday.
Dindor said, “Gujarat is staking claim to host Olympic 2036. For appointment of Khel Sahayaks in around 5,000 big secondary schools under Mission School of Excellence (project), a provision of Rs 66.20 crore has been made in the budget for 2023-24.”
A senior official connected with the development said that the appointment of Khel Sahayaks in secondary schools under Mission School of Excellence is a new matter under the education department.
“An in-principle approval has been given for the same and detailed policy will be declared soon. For the current year, Rs 66.20 crore has been allocated for the same,” the official said.
“The Khel Sahayaks are likely to be be appointed completely on contractual basis in the schools,” the official added.
According to sources in the education department, the initiative has been taken as part of preparations for the Olympics 2036 that the state is eyeing to host.
“Preparation for Olympics is not just development of infrastructure. We also need to detect and nurture the talent. And these Khel Sahayaks will do that. So, suppose we start looking for talent now at primary school level and then nurture them, they stand a good chance of being able to participate in the Olympics if and when Gujarat could host it in 2036,” an officer of the education department said.