Bhubaneshwar: Odisha government and Odisha Reliance Foundation Athletics HPC jointly hosted their performance graded competitions, a unique competition with a primary focus to offer athletes both from HPC and outside, competitive opportunities to showcase their talent and evaluate their improvement. As many as 289 enthusiastic boys and girls from across Odisha participated in the competition, which had a total of 16 disciplines and hosted at Kalinga Stadium.
James Hillier, Athletics Director, Reliance Foundation Athletics Programme. “As the years have progressed, we are seeing an increase in the talent that is coming through for the PGC’s. What started as an opportunity for our HPC athletes to compete against themselves, to see this become a program that is enabling the development of athletes in Odisha and our athletes an opportunity to improve. We are also looking at PGC’s as an opportunity for athletes to come and participate and deserving athletes to join the HPC program.”
The unique concept of performance graded competition introduced by Odisha Reliance Foundation HPC, is a significant departure from practice as it features athletes competing against each other entirely on the basis of their timings, irrespective of age or sex.
As many as 15 athletes from the Odisha Reliance Foundation Athletics High Performance Centre (HPC) also participated and produced some impressive results. 17-year-old Sabita Toppo, Odisha Reliance Foundation HPC athlete achieved a personal best of 13.98 in the 100M hurdles, going under the 14s mark for the first time in her career.
Sabita Toppo, Odisha Reliance Foundation HPC athlete, who participated in the PGC, said “I am feeling good that at the end of the year, at the PGC, I am still able to perform well and do a personal best. It helps me build a lot of confidence for the year ahead and for competitions as well. I could not have done this personal improvement without the support of the coaches, performance teams at Odisha Reliance Foundation HPC, and I want to continue to do better.”
Reliance Foundations Athletics’ Journey:
- Since 2017, Reliance Foundation has invested in the development of athletics through the Reliance Foundation Youth Sports program, reaching more than 5,500 educational institutes in 50+ districts across the country.
- In 2018, Reliance Foundation set up Odisha Reliance Foundation Athletics HPC, a high-performance centre in partnership with the Government of Odisha, from where multiple national and international medalists and national record holders have been shaped. Recently, Jyothi Yarraji (representing India in CWG 2022) and Amlan Borgohain from the HPC broke long-standing national records.
- RF has also been supporting the AFI with sports science and medicine support, with physiotherapists from Reliance Foundation accompanying the Indian contingent to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.