For the first time, Army to raise two girls sports units for making them world champions

For the first time, Army to raise two girls sports units for making them world champions

The Indian Army will be raising two Army Girls Sports Companies (AGSCs) in a phased manner within two of its centre of excellence nodes at Mhou and Pune to identify young talent, educate them and train them to become champions in their respective sporting discipline. The move is in sync with the national vision of women empowerment and buoyed by the success of similar attempts to raise Boys Sports Companies.

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The AGSCs, expected to become fully functional in April, will train young girls from all parts of the country in shooting, archery, athletics, boxing and weightlifting, said Army sources. The two locations — Army Marksmanship Unit, Mhow and Army Sports Institute, Pune have been selected for the AGSCs as they have world-class training infrastructure, sports medicine centres, rehabilitation facilities and related coaching facilities.

The five sports disciplines have been carefully selected on the basis of the women’s performance at Asian and world levels. “This young talent will also benefit from the senior Army teams/athletes, who are also being trained at these locations. Senior sportspersons will be a source of motivation for these young girls, who will be able to successfully emulate the International athletes and imbibe required skills on a very regular basis,” an Army officer said.

This step is aligned with India’s sports policy to achieve more podium finishes at the Olympics. The Army officials stated that the policy decision is a welcome step at the right time and will help the force and the nation to tap the right talent for the future. It will also lead to creation of a bigger pool of talented young sportswomen from remote areas of India, who aspire to achieve glory for India at Olympics, believe Army officials.

The girls at AGSCs will also be eligible for recruitment as Direct Entry Non Commissioned Officers and Direct Entry Junior Commissioned Officers apart from enrollment as Agniveers.

In 2022, the Indian Army took two sports women directly in its ranks. Asian Games Silver medallist in trap shooting, Preeti Rajak, was identified as a talent and enrolled as a Havildar in Corps of Military Police in December 2022. She was the first woman soldier to be promoted to Subedar in January, 2024 and trains at the Army Marksmanship Unit at Mhow.

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Before her, Jasmine Lamboria, a Bronze medallist in Commonwealth Games 2022, was also enrolled as a Non Commissioned Officer in the Indian Army in October 2022. These role models will inspire the incoming young talent to strive for sporting glory in their respective fields, commented Army officials.

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