The Mauritian was recently appointed as India’s first High-Performance Director for weightlifting.

India’s first High-Performance Director (HPD) for Weightlifting, Aveenash Pandoo, said on Friday that his approach for Indian weightlifting would be to adopt an athlete-centric approach where India would focus on their development and coach education as well.

During a media interaction facilitated by the Sports Authority of India (SAI), Aveenash Pandoo said he would work with SAI and Indian Weightlifting Federation to know the environment a bit more, “I will see what we already have and look at the roadmap and strategise around it. I want to look at our talent identification and development programmes,” he said.

“We have to see where the talent is coming from, why is it coming only from this region, and then see what can we do to better or change what is already existing,” he said. “We will also look at our talent development and obviously that would be coach-led with athletes (at the) centre.”

Aveenash Pandoo said his focus would be to create a strong coaching structure with the capability to help India produce international champions. “We will look at the resources that are available, and the coach education, and see what is lacking,” he said, speaking of developing programmes for 100 coaches and 60 referees each year.

Aveenash Pandoo has been appointed as India’s HPD for Weightlifting until the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, with a specific focus on the development of junior talent and with an eye on the 2028 LA Olympics. He comes 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 Janeiro.

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 Janeiro.

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.

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