Millennium Post

Artists benefit more than athletes from National Games, says pt Usha

As yet another National Games progresses amid organisational lapses and controversies, former sprint queen P T Usha feels the event has transformed into a carnival in which artists benefit more than sportspersons. Though the Games have helped improve the sports infrastructure at the grassroot level, Usha felt the event would not be of much help to the athletes preparing for international events including the upcoming Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.

“After all, National Games is an Olympic-format event. But, organisers seem to concentrate more on the pomp and show of the opening and closing ceremonies of the event than giving due importance to sports and sportspersons,” Usha said in an interview, adding: “The ongoing Games are no different. They try to ensure the participation of maximum number of artists in the inaugural and closing ceremonies and make it a big celebration.” However, Usha felt it was also hard to ignore the sports infrastructure that has come up solely because of the Games.

“It helps upcoming sportstars to get better facilities including good stadiums, tracks and other essential infrastructure. It is not a small thing. I think, that is the only benefit of conducting the Games,” said Usha. The Asian Games gold medallist sprinter said the organisers could learn from big multi-sport events to conduct the National Games smoothly.

“Olympics is a well-prepared event while National Games are completely the opposite. We will easily get the complete schedule and other details of athletics or any other event of 2016 Rio Olympics months before. But, is it possible to get the schedule and other such details of the National Games similarly?” she asked.
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