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Foundation stone laid for SAI National Centre of Excellence in North Bengal’s Coochbehar district

Minister of State for Sports ShriNisith Pramanik and Minister of State for Railways Smt. Darshana Jardosh laid the foundation stone of the Sports Authority of India National Centre of Excellence in Coochbehar on Saturday. A Memorandum of Understanding was also signed between SAI and the Ministry of Railways on the occasion.

Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Anurag Singh Thakur  joined the event virtually, alongside Tokyo Olympics medallists Neeraj Chopra and Lovlina Borgohain. Also in attendance during the occasion in Coochbehar included Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Ravi Kumar Dahiya, Men’s hockey team players Manpreet Singh and Nilakanta Sharma, Women’s hockey team players Salima Tete and Nikki Pradhan as well as North Bengal’s very own local favourite heptathlon athlete Swapna Barman.

Shri Anurag Thakur said that Initiatives like Target Olympic Podium Scheme and Khelo India scheme have made it sure to do the best possible for athletes. “Opening of this NCOE is another big step taken especially by Nisith Pramanik ji and Darshana ji. We wanted to make one of the best sporting facilities in North Bengal and today, the foundation stone has been laid. This will help over 1000 athletes get the training who will in return help India reach new heights in the sporting arena”, Shri Thakur added.

Expressing his delight while laying the foundation stone of this High Performance Centre, Shri Pramanik said, “Today is a historic day for the development of sports not just in North Bengal but also for India. I thank Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji, whose vision made this sports hub possible here. In every region, from north to south and east to west, Modiji has been envisioning the overall development of sports. Before March 2024, we want to inaugurate the NCOE here in the presence of Shri Modi ji.

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