Kochi: Aiming to help budding athletes win laurels in international sporting events, including Olympics, the Kerala Cricket Association on Tuesday announced a `Mission Gold` scheme.

"The intention is to identify talent at an early stage so that proper scientific training can be imparted to them," KCA Secretary T C Mathew and President T R Balakrishnan said.

Though Kerala has athletic culture, the state is unable to give them the best of facilties, Mathew said adding training would be provided in this city, where several facilties are available.

Kerala Sports Council and other associations would also be consulted, he said.

KCA will sponsor potential champions among boys and girls every year and they will be selected by an expert panel. The selections would be made at Inter-school athletic and University meets.

Those selected would be put under the care of dedicated coaches and housed in separate boarding facilties for boys and girls for training.

The training programmes would emphasise on bio mechanical anaylsis and scientific support besides systematic training programmes. KCA would also take car of their education.

Efforts would be also be made to get foreign coaches to train the athletes and if need be, send them abroad for training, Mathew said.

KCA board meeting today unanimously approved the programme. The association would utilise the revenue generated by it from the state for the scheme and would not approach BCCI for the same, he said.

An MOU would be signed with the selected students and KCA soon.

Already 10 athletes, including Sreeninth Mohan, who broke the national high jump school record in the recently held state school athletics meet here, have been selected and five have confirmed participation.

In February, a one week training programme would be held at Kochi, Mathew said.

(Agencies)