Revamp of existing coaching system, talent identification at grassroot level, setting up of more academies and facilities and bigger involvement of corporate sector were some of the key points suggested by former sportspersons at a meeting on Monday with Sports Minister to chart out a way for India’s better show in future Olympics.
A round table discussion on ‘Performance of India in Rio Olympics and Way Forward’ was held on Monday with a view to holding wide-ranging consultations and inviting views and suggestions for improving India’s performance in future Olympic Games.
The round table discussion was chaired by Sports Minister Vijay Goel and was attended by sportspersons of eminence who have been conferred with Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and coaches who have been conferred with Dronacharya Award since 2001.
Eminent sportspersons P T Usha, Anju Bobby George, Sakshi Malik, M C Mary Kom, Sardar Singh, Gagan Narang, Pulella Gopichand, Khajan Singh, P R Sreejesh and coaches Satpal, Virender Poonia and N Ramesh were among those who attended the meeting.
Participants gave their frank and forthright views and suggestions for making India realise its potential and improve its position in medals tally in intentional events.
Important among the suggestions made by former sportspersons and coaches were: development of second and third strings of players; revamp of existing coaching systems to bring them in sync with the latest and modern coaching methods and techniques being employed by countries who are in the forefront of winning medals in Olympic Games; good support personnel like physiotherapist, doctors, sport psychologists; talent identification at sub-junior and junior level; more academies in specific sports discipline at state level; adoption of academies and sports persons by corporates for providing financial support under CSR.
Other suggestions include optimum utilisation of existing sports facilities; involving former Olympians and players in coaching assignments; extending the provision of reservation for sports persons; preparation and development of coach-led athlete-centric training programmes; integration of sports with education; monitoring of the training programmes and performance of the sportspersons.
Goel stated that after conclusion Of Rio Olympics, he has initiated consultations with players, coaches and National Sports Federations to elicit their views and suggestions. He stated that he had written to all 117 sportspersons who participated in Rio Olympics.
Goel said that his Ministry will examine the views and suggestions received during the round table discussion, from NSFs and other sources and will come out with an action plan.
Attention will be given to talent identification, preparation of long term plans for training and competitive exposure to sportspersons, creation and upgradation of modern sports infrastructural facilities across the country with the involvement of state governments.