In the past, the country's different national sports federations and the Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) did not take any initiative to provide long-term training to budding athletes following the completion of a tournament. This time however, the BOA is all set to break that tradition by conducting a training camp for talented athletes at the Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan (BKSP) in January.
Initially, the BOA made a list of 170 potential athletes who won medals during the inaugural Bangladesh Youth Games where approximately 27,000 athletes, aged under-17, from 64 districts took part across 21 disciplines in December before about 6500 athletes qualified for the divisional level.
The Youth Games' final phase was held in March with approximately 2660 athletes vying for gold in 159 events across 21 disciplines, prompting the BOA to afford long-term training to potential athletes.
“We decided to bring talented athletes, who are eligible to study in eighth grade, into a long-term training at the BKSP. We discussed the matter with high-ups from the BKSP to accommodate those athletes so that they can use all the facilities, under the guidance of BKSP's coaching staff, and grow for future national teams,” said BOA secretary general Syed Shahed Reza.
Shahed also informed that the BKSP have agreed to train athletes for 14 disciplines out of the 21 witnessed at the Youth Games while players of the remaining seven disciplines will train under their respective national federations.
“There is still work to do to finalise the matter. We will first ask the parents if they agree to let their children stay at the BKSP and if they do, the athletes will be admitted to Class-8 in BKSP in January next year,” informed Shahed while adding that BOA will bear all the athletes expenses.
In addition, the BOA also decided to increase the prize money for medal winners at international tournaments, with the reward now ranging from Tk one lakh to one crore.