Monday, December 29, 2008

Sports Minister wants timely help for CWG athletes

2010 commonwealth gamesSports Minister MS Gill has asked the national federations to quickly settle contracts with coaches and ensure timely availability of sports and support equipment for the benefit of athletes undergoing training for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

The directions were given after a review meeting of the progress of the 'Scheme for Preparation of Teams for Commonwealth Games' and and identification of steps required to further improve the working of this Scheme.

On the basis of feedback received during the meeting, which was attended by office bearers of different federations, officers of Sports Authority of India and Indian Olympic Association, several steps were identified to make the Scheme work more efficiently.

"The Sports Minister has given direction for ensuring that sports and support equipment and consumables are made available in time, contracts with coaches are settled expeditiously, progress of the Scheme be monitored closely and kits to sports persons coming to camps be given without any delay," a release from the Ministry said on Wednesday.

"It was also decided to make available training facilities at non-SAI venues in certain locations like Chennai for Swimming, Hyderabad for Badminton, Pune for Tennis and Shooting etc," it said.

Under the Scheme, which would cost the Government Rs 678 crores, the selection process for identifying about 1300 elite players, in 17 disciplines, 250 coaches (both Indian and foreign), and about 80 supporting personnel (physiotherapists, psychologist, masseurs etc) has been completed.

These elite players will be fully funded by Government, for intensive training of 305 days, in a year, both within, and outside the country. They will also be provided state of art, equipments, training and greater exposure in domestic and international tournaments.

The players will be assessed at regular intervals, through pre-decided monitorable parameters, till their final selection for Commonwealth Games.

The coaching camps for the selected players have commenced at the various centers of Sports Authority of India.