The Sports Authority of India (SAI) came into existence as a registered society in 1984, with an aim to promote sports in India and develop excellence, by upgrading the skills of the Indian sports persons. Established by the Government of India, SAI is bestowed with the responsibility of ensuring that the available infrastructure for sports is utilized optimally and effectively. It is also concerned with the management of sports in India. Currently, SAI has seven regional centers located in Bangalore, Gandhinagar, Kolkata, Sonepat, Delhi, Mumbai and Imphal. Some of the prestigious institutes are run by SAI include Netaji Subhash National Institute of Sports (Patiala), Laxmibai National College of Physical Education (Trivandrum) and a high altitude training center at Shillaroo, Himachal Pradesh.
The main objective behind the establishment of SAI was to upgrade the skills of the budding sports talents in India, which is fulfilled to a great extent, through its 23 training centers, spread across the length and breadth of India. Through the various schemes formulated for sub-junior, junior and senior level, it ensures that the enthusiasm for sports is widened among different age groups of people. SAI has taken strenuous efforts in talent scouting and training of selected individuals. It has provided vital inputs to the players, which includes coaching, infrastructure, equipment support and sports kit. SAI has also provided competitive exposure to the talented sportspersons.
Some of the pivotal schemes formulated by Sports Authority of India for the promotion of sports in India include National Sports Talent Contest, the Special Area Games, the Sports Projects Development Area and the Sports Hostel Scheme. Through the National Sports Talent Contest, SAI caters to the school going children of India, aged between 8 and 14 years. After selecting the talented children, SAI puts them into adopted schools. While selecting a school for the purpose, SAI takes into accounts the sports, residential infrastructure provided by the school and its reputation in sports performance.
The Army Boys Sports Company (ABSC), in association with the Indian Army authorities, is run by SAI, wherein boys aged between 8 and 14 years are selected from the Regimental Areas and Army Lines. The individuals are provided with enough facilities and infrastructure, to sharpen their skills in sports. SAI provides sports equipments for the trainees, kit, stipend as well as coaches. Currently, there are eight ABSCs all over India. Another scheme proposed by SAI is called the SAI Training Centres (STC). This Scheme has been successful to a great extent, in fulfilling SAI's objective of spotting and nurturing sports talents. SAI short lists sports person aged between 14 and 21 years and enrolls them at any out of the 58 STCs located across India.