Indian Army to establish girls’ sports companies to nurture talent in young women

Team India Sentinels Thursday 7th of March 2024 05:09 PM

Jasmine Lamboria (in Red), who won the bronze in Commonwealth Games 2022, is now in the Army. (India Sentinels photo via special arrangement.)

New Delhi: In a move aligned with the national vision of women empowerment and showcasing “Nari Shakti” (woman power), the Indian Army is raising two Army girls’ sports companies (AGSCs) in a phased manner. These companies will be established at two of the Army’s centres of excellence – the Army Marksmanship Unit in Mhow and the Army Sports Institute in Pune.

The primary objective of the AGSCs is to identify and nurture young sporting talent from across the country, providing formal education alongside training in disciplines such as shooting, archery, athletics, boxing and weightlifting. The Army has a rich experience in scouting for young talent, as demonstrated by the success of its boys sports companies.

The locations chosen for the AGSCs boast world-class training infrastructure, sports medicine centres, rehabilitation facilities and coaching amenities. The young talents will also benefit from the guidance and mentorship of senior Army teams and athletes, who train at these locations. These seasoned sportspersons will serve as a source of motivation, enabling the girls to emulate international athletes and imbibe the required skills on a regular basis.

This initiative is aligned with India’s sports policy aimed at achieving more podium finishes at the Olympics. Upon completion of their training, the girls at the AGSCs will be eligible for recruitment as direct-entry non-commissioned officers, direct-entry junior commissioned officers or enrolment as Agniveers (the new four-year recruitment scheme for the three services).

The Army has already identified and inducted talented sportswomen, like Subedar Preeti Rajak, an Asian Games silver medallist in trap shooting; and Jasmine Lamboria, a bronze medallist at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Subedar Rajak, who was enrolled as a Havildar in the Corps of Military Police, in December 2022, became the first woman Indian Army soldier to be promoted to the rank of subedar in January 2024, as India Sentinels had reported at that time. She trains at the Army Marksmanship Unit in Mhow, where one of the two AGSCs is being established.

The Army expects these role models to inspire the incoming young talent to strive for sporting glory in their respective fields. The AGSCs are set to be fully operational from April 2024, providing a platform for young girls to pursue their dreams while representing the Indian Army.


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