Here is all you need to know about the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) along with its benefits to the athletes of India and the money given to players under the scheme
The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has launched a significant project called the Target Olympic Podium Scheme to support India’s top athletes.
Explained what is the TOPS program by the Indian Government, scheme money give to players and medals won
The programme seeks to improve these athletes’ training in order to increase their chances of taking home Olympic medals. Identification of people with the potential to win medals at the Olympics is the Department of Sports’ job in order to achieve this goal.
The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) introduced the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) initiative in September 2014 to improve India’s performance at the Olympics and Paralympics. In April 2018, it underwent an update that added a technical support team to oversee the TOPS athletes and provide all-encompassing help.
The TOPS sponsored athletes gained relative success at the 2016 Rio Olympics and the 2018 Commonwealth Games.P V Sindhu and Sakshi Malik captured silver and bronze in Badminton and Wrestling respectively at the 2016 Rio Olympics and in the 2016 Paralympic Games, the TOPS Athletes won 2 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze demonstrating the effectiveness of the Scheme. The recent success of the Commonwealth Games emphasized the efficacy of the Scheme as out of the 70 athletes who won medals at the CWG, 47 of them were supported under the TOP Scheme.
The scheme is fully functional and has been extending requisite support to probable athletes identified for the 2020 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games including foreign training, international competition, equipment and coaching camp besides monthly stipend of Rs. 50,000/- for each athlete.
There are now 270 TOPS athletes in total (101 in Core and 169 in Development), after 27 additional athletes were added to the TOPS Core and Development lists.
The Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) has reintroduced Indian archer Atanu Das, a World Championship silver medalist and Olympian. Other well-known athletes, such as Mehuli Ghosh, a rifle shooter, and 15-year-old Tilottama Sen, a bronze medalist at the 2023 World Cup of the International Shooting Sport Federation, have been included to TOPS.
The MYAS places a great importance on the selection of TOPS members, paying particular attention to guaranteeing participation from high-priority sports like Archery, Badminton, Boxing, Hockey, Shooting, and Wrestling.
Also, a special body called the Mission Olympic Cell was created to provide assistance to athletes selected under the Scheme. The Director General of the Sports Authority of India is in charge of this body.
How does the Target Olympic Podium Scheme benefits Indian athletes?
Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur told Sportstar:
The Mission Olympic Cell (MOC), operating under the MYAS, added 10 athletes in January 2022, bringing the total number of TOPS participants to 301, including 107 members of the Core Group. The main recipients of this programme throughout the years have been Indian Olympians Mirabai Chanu, PV Sindhu, and Neeraj Chopra, all of whom won medals in Tokyo.
TOPS has been a very successful programme. It has been able to plug the gaps in the elite and development athletes’ training and competition calendars.”
According to Thakur, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) has established the athlete-focused Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) to “oversee all critical matters pertaining to our elite sportspersons.”