Indian Army today is not just about defending the country and being deployed at the border. The Army’s role today has expanded to R&D, Construction, Survey and more importantly – churning elite athletes for the country.
India has given many eminent sports personalities so far – from Milkha Singh to Jitu Rai. The army men has proved themselves in the recently held Commonwealth Games 2018 at Gold Coast.
Army’s Army Sports Institute and Boys Sports Company get the credit to train and deploy these elite sportsmen who represent the country and win medals for it.
Army Boys Sports Company Scheme – ABSC
This is a collaborative venture of Sports Authority of India (SAI) with the Indian Army, The main objective of the Scheme is to make use of the good infrastructure and disciplined environment of the Army for training boys in the age group of 8-16 years of age, to achieve excellence in sports. After attaining the required age of seventeen and a half years, the trainees are also offered placement in the Army.
At present, there are 18 Centres in India wherein trainees are being trained, in the above mentioned disciplines. Presently, there are a total of 1049 Boys trainees under the ABSC scheme.
The selection of trainees under the above scheme is done on potential and performance basis as follows:
- Trainees who are medal winners in State/National Level Competitions are automatically admitted into the Scheme, subject to age verification and being found medically fit.
- Trainees who are medal winners at District Level Competition or have participated in State Level Competitions are admitted, subject to age verification and being medically and physically fit. The potential of the trainee is assessed by a battery of tests.
- For selection of raw talent from remote, tribal & coastal areas, competitions are organized for both team as well as individual games. Selection done by a Committee consisting of representatives of SAI, Army & SMC coaches. Selection is done on the basis of:
- Application of specific games/Skill tests.
- Verification of age between 8 to 16 years.
- Application of Battery of tests on sports persons qualifying in the specific games/skill tests & age-verification to assess their potential.
- Medical examination of sports persons qualifying the above tests.
Archery, Athletics, Basketball, Boxing, Diving, Equestrian, Fencing, Football, Gymnastics, Handball, Hockey, Kayaking & Canoeing, Shooting, Swimming, Rowing, Volleyball, Wrestling & Weightlifting (18 Disciplines).
Under the Scheme the trainees are provided boarding & lodging, Educational Expenses, Sports kit, Insurance, Medical cover, Competition exposure, besides scientific coaching from experienced SAI coaches.
Army Sports Institute
On July 1, 2001 Army Sports Institute was established to tap vast talent pool of sportsmen serving in the Army and young talented boys (Boys Sports Company Scheme) of our country under “Mission Olympics Programme”. It is the first Sports Academy in India to change the face of sporting culture in India which is located in heart of Pune.
It is a unique, multi-disciplinary Sports Institute which imparts training in seven sports: Archery, Athletics, Boxing, Diving, Wrestling, Fencing and Weightlifting. Training is given by internationally renowned foreign & Indian coaches and qualified physical trainers. They are supported by a team of specialists in sports medicine, sports physiology, sports psychology, bio-mechanics and nutrition. ASI provides state of the art training infrastructure, equipments, accommodation, environment and Sports Sciences Centre.
BSC Cadets can join ASI if they are between 8 to 14 years of age, having education 6th to 10th standard, are medal winners in ASI sports discipline and have outstanding motor qualities.
Outstanding Civilians Sportmen can join ASI as direct Havildar/Naib Subedar having age between 16 to 24 years, education 10th pass, medal winners in ASI sports discipline and having an international representation.
Serving army sports persons recommended by MT Directorate and Mission Olympics Wing under three categories: Elite, Potential and Under Evaluation. For enrolment of meritorious sportsmen from Unit HQ quota or from the Zones, the list of games as applicable for direct Havildar entry would be considered.
As National Campers: During the conduct of national camps at ASI, Pune all sportsmen part of camp are trained at ASI.
Further eligibility criteria to join the ASI is listed in the below link.