With the government looking to make National Sports Federations (NSFs) accountable and kick off preparations for the 2020 Olympics, Sports Minister Vijay Goel has been holding a series of meetings with the federations and both archery and tennis federations agreeing to hold fresh elections to ensure they complied with the rules.
“I have had meetings with the AITA and Anil Khanna a couple of days ago, the archery people met me today, boxing has been recognised finally and I am also meeting with the basketball authorities. We are trying our best and I am hopeful that things will improve soon,” Goel said after a four-hour long Chintan Baithak with eminent sportspersons and current and former sports administrators here on Thursday.
Adding that the ministry wanted to make both the NSFs and the players more accountable, Goel said that all tournaments including National championships would be monitored and top stars required to participate to be eligible for selections unless they had a valid reason.
The ministry would also support events organised by the private sector if required and had met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in this regard, seeking enhancement of the budget.
Sports science centres
“We are aware that if we have to seriously start our preparations for 2020 and then 2024 as per the vision of the Prime Minister, we need more money and resources,” he said adding that the government was also planning to establish sports science centres across the country to supplement players’ training.
“It was also suggested that we need more sports science centres. They will be set up at 4-5 universities and the UGC is already on board with the meeting today. And if a player or an Association or an NGO starts an academy, the government will support that too through our infrastructure, though its working would be monitored to ensure maximum kids can utilise the facilities,” he added.
Goel also said that while the government would henceforth advertise before selecting foreign coaches for any discipline instead of going only by the federations’ recommendations, the NSFs would still have a say in the final appointment.
“If there are recommendations from the NSFs and some others have applied through another process then all will be evaluated by a committee before a final decision and the NSF will be a part of that process,” Goel, flanked by sports secretary Rajiv Yadav, clarified.
He also said that Indian coaches who hesitate to associate with the National teams or camps for fear of loss of job security would also be taken care of. “The Indian coaches would now paid from Rs. 50,000 to two lakh. Also, we will try and work out a mechanism so that they may draw salary from only one organisation but will continue to hold their jobs,” Goel explained.