Mexico City, March 8 (IANS) Mexico’s National Sports Commission (Conade) said it was opening six academies to scout for and develop Olympic talent.

“We want the Conade academy to be the Harvard of sports,” Conade chief Alfredo Castillo told guests, athletes and reporters at the presentation of the strategy, reports Xinhua news agency.

Funded by both the government and the private sector, the academies will work to develop talent in volleyball, boxing, mixed martial arts, basketball, baseball and tennis, with the help of top active and retired Mexican athletes.

The academies will provide children aged 11 to 16 years, who show Olympic potential with the support and facilities they need to practice and compete nationally and internationally.

The president of the World Boxing Council, Mauricio Sulaiman, called the move “a historic step, a platform for both children and youth from remote communities across the country … it will be a long process, but in the end, they will succeed in having high-level athletes there.”

Mexico has historically underperformed at the Olympic Games and other international sporting events, and earlier this year officials announced a plan to establish individual academies to strengthen sports in the country.

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