Shillong, Jul 4: The Sports & Youth Affairs Department today announced that it has decided in principle to launch a ‘Super Elite Programme’ for athlete development, where 12 sportspersons with high potential will be trained with international coaches and a dedicated development programme with the aim of competing at national and international levels.

The project, under the Meghalaya government’s STAR programme, is a part of the vision to develop Olympic athletes by 2032.

The STAR programme has seen thousands of young athletes put through their paces in standardised tests implemented by the Meghalaya State Olympic Association under the supervision of Edge10, an Australian company led by Ian Campbell (pictured centre), a former Olympian.

Over 14,500 athletes across Meghalaya were tested in two phases with the technology provided by Edge10.

The 4,500 Phase 1 athletes were shortlisted to participate in an Elite Pathway Programme, which involves a year-round intervention process of app-based training and quarterly training camps conducted by Campbell. From this group nine athletes (six in athletics, two in weightlifting, and one karateka) have been shortlisted, while the rest will continue under the Elite Pathway Programme, a departmental press release stated today.

As the remaining 10,000 athletes from Phase 2 are shortlisted through the same mechanism, it is expected that three more athletes will be a part of the Super Elite Program, forming a total of 12.

These athletes, both boys and girls from the Garo and Khasi regions of the State, will be under the direct care of the MSOA and the Sports Department, where their schooling, lodging and training will be taken care of. Campbell will continue to oversee their performance over the three years of the programme, facilitated by sport-specific expert coaches and an analytics team. The athletes will be based in Shillong and will further participate in events, gradually aspiring towards international events.

(File photo)

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