New Delhi: Seeking to help India become a force to reckon with at the Olympics, Anglian Medal-Hunt Company (AMHC) on Wedneday announced a list of 12 athletes, mostly boxers, who will be supported by the sports foundation in the next few years.
The list, among others, includes boxers L Devendro Singh and Shiva Thapa and walker K T Irfan.
Also on the list are promising pugilists Sumit Sangwan, Gaurav Bidhuri and Sarjubala Devi, who has already been touted as the next big thing in women's boxing after M C Mary Kom. Walker Basanta Bahadur Rana, Neetu Kumari and Harmilan Bains (800-metres race), Khushbir Kaur (20-km race walk), Vania Kapoor Achuthan (swimming) and Navjeet Kaur Dhillon (discus throw) complete the list.
While Devendro, Shiva, Sangwan, Irfan and Rana are known names having represented the country in the London Olympics, the others are more or less unheralded, though they have been selected after taking into consideration their proven record at the national level meets.
"We have already identified 12 fantastic young sportspersons whom we have signed up, and intend to work with 30 athletes by the end of this year and 50 before the Asian Games next year. We wish to guide them in all aspects of their career from training, international exposure, sponsorships to all other aspects of their professional life," said Maneesh Bahuguna, CEO of AMHC.
"Our target is four medals in 2016 Olympics and eight in 2020," added Bahuguna.
Sandeep Narang, chairman Anglian Omega Group (India), said: "Currently, the contracts offered to the athletes are typically on a very ad-hoc basis, but we are looking to change that by offering them long-term contracts ranging from 5-7 years, so that they feel safe and confident."
AMHC will facilitate the development of identified athletes and help them in training, procurement of equipment, international exposure required by the athletes, access to quality healthcare and nutrition, coaching, besides giving them cash stipends on a monthly basis.
AMHC will follow strict criteria for selection of medal-worthy athletes. Once selected, the athletes will be trained by our highly credible network of coaches, mentors, physiotherapists and mental conditioners. The entire expenses borne for this purpose will be met by AMHC on a case to case basis.
It is associated with the Olympic Gold Quest, which will be one of the training partners of AMHC.
Anglian's foray in Indian sports started with the acquisition of stakes in I-League club Shillong Lajong F C last year. The company also simultaneously invested in Denmark-based second division football club, F C Vikings. Three players from Lajong F C were sent to F C Vikings to undergo training at the Danish club's facilities.