Pandoo appointed as first high-performance director for weightlifting


New Delhi, Jan 14 (IANS) Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has approved the appointment of Aveenash Pandoo as the first High-Performance Director for weightlifting until the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) said in a release on Friday.

His appointment was recommended by the Sports Authority of India’s Foreign Coach Selection Committee in conjunction with officials of the Indian Weightlifting Federation.

The 46-year-old Mauritian, who has more than two decades of coaching experience in South Africa and Indonesia, will get an annual salary of USD 54,000 (approximately Rs. 40.50 lakh), SAI said in a release.

In his role as HPD, Pandoo was instrumental in helping two Indonesian lifters win medals in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. From his base in Cape Town in South Africa, Pandoo said he was excited to take over as India’s first HPD for Weightlifting.

“I am confident that I will deliver an impeccable performance. I will bring my best experience to the Youth and Junior areas to assist in best identification and develop the performance,” he said.

Indian Weightlifting Federation general secretary Sahdev Yadav said the appointment will give the sport the impetus. “Mr. Pandoo, who comes with rich experience, will give a real push to the Junior Development Programme in the SAI National Centres of Excellence (NCOE) across the country with systematic training and monitoring mechanism,” he said.

The appointment of Pandoo comes with a view of creating a strong grassroots structure for weightlifting sports in India. In his role, Pandoo will be in charge of creating a talent identification system to improve India’s bench strength. He will also be tasked to develop junior development programmes and competition structures at the SAI National Centres of Excellence (NCOE) across India.

Among his other responsibilities, Pandoo is also tasked with the enhancement of the development programmes for coaches and referees each year along with a transparent ranking system for weightlifters.



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