PT Usha | Photo: ANI
Chennai: Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president P T Usha on Friday said athletes are preparing well for the Asian Games later this year and that the various training camps are going on well.
"Asian Games is coming this year or maybe next year. Olympics also is coming and a lot of preparation is going on in different national camps...The government is already conducting national camps in different places.
"First, we have to give priority to the athletes who are participating in the national camp. Coaching camps and all those things are going on well...," Usha told reporters here on the sidelines of the launch of the Little Millennium Kids Marathon.
Further, she emphasised the need to nurture talent at a young age and at the grassroot level.
"I can say that in our country, a lot of talent is there, The only issue is that there is not much support at the grassroot level. So, we have a good scheme like Khelo India.
"There will be good players or good athletes in the 12-13 years age-group. So, we need support, we have to give support for them. That I'm doing in my academy. So, that kind of help I want to do in every State," the 58-year old Indian legend, a Rajya Sabha member now, added.
Usha, who runs an athletics academy in Kerala, said she was happy to groom youngsters, which was a tough job but an enjoyable one.
She also batted for support at the grassroot level and said "at the grassroot level it should be very systematic, then the players (athletes) will do better in the future."
Laying emphasis on systematic scouting and training, Usha said "you need talent scouting in every state and some centres should be there for the systematic and scientific way of talent scouting, training. Everything should be systematic, every state should have this type of academy."
Usha also urged parents to encourage their children to take up sports and called for awareness on child abuse. The Little Millennium Kids Marathon to be held here on Saturday is being organised to raise awareness on child abuse.