CHANDIGARH, APRIL 2,The Punjab Sports Department’s campaign for 208-9 to ‘catch them young’ at grass root level and provide them scientific training to mould them into world class players, will begin tomorrow with selection trials for sports wings in schools at the Olympian Surjit Singh Stadium, State Sports School and Hansraj Stadium, in Jalandhar. The talent spotting programme will continue till April 18.
The disciplines selected are basketball, boxing, equestrian, football, gymnastics, volleyball, handball, judo, kabaddi, weightlifting, swimming, wrestling, shooting, athletics, cycling, badminton, hockey and lawn tennis.
Giving details of the trials procedure, Olympian and Padam Shre Pargat Singh said "wrestling trials will be conducted at the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana on April 16 (under-14), April 17 (Under-17) and April 18 (Under-19). Punjab Agricultural University velodrome will the venue of cycling trials.
The football trials would be conducted at the Government Senior Secondary School ground in Mahilpur. Trials for under-14 will be held from April 3 to 5, under-17 on April 7 and 8 and under-19 on Aopril 9 and 10.
Hockey selection trials will commence in the age group of Under-13 on April 3. The cut off date is January 1, 1996. The under-14 boys and girls (born before 1-1-95) will be selected on April 3 and 4 at the Olympian Surjit Hockey Stadium. The Sports Department has fixed April 7, 8 and 9 for Under-16 (1-1-93). For Under-19 (1-1-90), probables have been directed to report on April 9 and 10 for registration and trials. Tennis trials will also be conducted at the Burlton Park.
Badminton trials for boys and girls Under-14 will be held from April 3 to 5 at Hansraj Stadium in Jalandhar. Trials for Under-17 will be on April 7 to 8 and under-19 on April 9 and 10.
Sports Director Padam Shree Pargat Singh said "this year the number of sports wings has been substantially increased to 2200 trainees from 1700 last year. The State Government has increased the fund for sports wings from Rs 2 crore to Rs 2.5 crore. With this we will further strengthen our base to groom talents from the early age."
Olympian Pargat Singh said that during the trials merit list would be prepared and the sports wing seats would be allotted according to availability of talent on merit in a particular school. Since these are open age group trials, the potential medal winners in recognised international competitions would be enrolled in the Speed Fund Academy Scheme.
The Sports Department has constituted selection panels comprising experts of the particular games. The following are the chairmen of the selection committees: Brig Labh Singh (athletics), Sajjan Singh Cheema (basketball), Jaipal Singh (boxing), Mrs Amrit Gill (cycling), Inder Singh (football), Kulwinder Singh (gymnastics), Balwan Singh (handball), Dev Singh (judo), Hardip Singh (kabaddi), Sukhpal Singh (volleyball), Sukhchain Singh (wrestling), Tara Singh (weightlifting, Surjit Singh (swimming), Kartar Singh (badminton), Sandeep Singh (tennis), Col Balbir Singh (hockey, men) and Varinder Singh (hockey, women).
Meanwhile, all preparations have been done for smooth conduct of the trials.