Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has approved the appointment of Aveenash Pandoo as the first High-Performance Director for Weightlifting until the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. His appointment was recommended by the Sports Authority of India’s Foreign Coach Selection Committee in conjunction with officials of the Indian Weightlifting Federation. His annual salary will be $54,000 (approx. Rs. 40.50 lakh).
The HPD has been appointed with specific focus on development of junior talent m with an eye on 2028 and to create strong coaching structure with capability to help India produce international champions.
The 46-year-old Aveenash Pandoo, a Mauritian who is based in South Africa, will come to India with more than two decades of coaching experience in South Africa and Indonesia. In his role as High-Performance Director, Aveenansh Pandoo was instrumental in helping two Indonesian lifters get medals in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero.
Indian Weightlifting Federation President Sahdev Yadav said the appointment will give the sport the impetus. “Mr. Pandoo, who comes with rich experience, will give a real push to the Junior Development Programme in the SAI National Centres of Excellence (NCOE) across the country with systematic training and monitoring mechanism,” he said.
From his base in Cape Town in South Africa, Pandoo said he was excited to take over as India’s first HPD for Weightlifting. “I am confident that I will deliver an impeccable performance. I will bring my best experience to the Youth and Junior areas to assist in best identification and develop the performance,” he said.
Pandoo’s experience of working with the International Weightlifting Federation on the Development and Education Committee (2013-17) will also boost the coach education programme in India as he is expected to assist in the revision of the NIS Diploma syllabus.
SAI and IWLF have laid down specific Key Result Areas for the High-Performance Director, including devising training Programme and introduction of scientific monitoring system for NCOE athletes, designing Long-Term Athlete Development Pathway and Gap Analysis, developing a competition structure for NCOE athletes and the introduction of transparent ranking system as well as a robust talent identification system to improve India’s bench strength.
Besides, the High-Performance Director is expected to assist in the Coach Development Programmes for 100 coaches and Referee Development Programmes for 60 referees each year.