The Sports Ministry has earmarked Rs 100 crore for the funding of athletes under the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) for their preparations for the 2020 Olympics, said Sports Authority of India director general Neelam Kapur.
“We have kept an approximate figure of Rs 100 crore for the 2020 Olympics. The Sports Minister has instructed that there shouldn’t be any shortage of funds for the athletes in TOPS,” Kapur said. “We are consulting the national federations, national observers… after going through all the data, the final selection is made by the Mission Olympics Cell,” she said.
The TOPS, which was launched in September 2014, is a flagship programme of the sports ministry to provide financial assistance to potential Olympic medal winners. Athletes have also been given financial assistance to prepare for Commonwealth Games and Asian Games under the TOPS.
A TOPS Secretariat has also been established in a bid to fine tune India’s preparations for the 2020 Olympics and build a sustainable sports ecosystem in the country. Active since September, the Secretariat consists of a team of professionals with management and sporting expertise that oversees the functioning of TOPS.
Through TOPS, the government has been working to provide assistance to not only the potential medal winners in 2020 Olympics but also keeping an eye on the future by funding a developmental group of athletes who are medal prospects for the Olympic Games in 2024 and 2028.