Sports policy, key issues hanging fire since 2012

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Deepankar Sharda

Chandigarh, December 28

Will the standing committee of the advisory council for sports manage a “yes” from the UT Administrator for the implementation of a sports policy, cash awards and benefits for coaches in Chandigarh this time?

These suggestions were first made in 2012 by Dronacharya Award recipient and cricket coach DP Azad, an iconic name in Indian cricket.

Key suggestions by 2019 committee

Each member of the committee should be allocated 4-5 sports complexes for getting feedback.A sports coffee table book with the details of eminent players and sports infra should be printed.Need for reservation of 80% seats for local players in the academies run by the Chandigarh sports council.

The Administrator yesterday reappointed politician Sanjay Tandon chairman of the standing committee (sports) for the second consecutive term along with the president, Chandigarh Golf Club; president, Chandigarh Press Club; and SK Gupta, who is known as an encyclopaedia of hockey; and Col Irshad Khan as members.

The committee, under the same chairmanship (but with three different members), had suggested the need for forming a sports policy for Chandigarh in 2019. However, nothing happened in this direction so far except promises and announcements.

No eminent sportspersons

This year’s committee doesn’t feature any eminent sportsperson. Last year, Beijing Olympics gold medallist in shooting Abhinav Bindra was appointed to the standing committee (sports), but he did not attend any meeting. The likes of former international and Indian football team skipper Harjinder Singh, Dronacharya Awarde recipient boxing coach Shiv Singh and other local eminent figures failed to make it to the list.

“Suggestions are made, drafts for sports policy prepared and announcements are made on increase in cash prizes for Olympic winners and others, but where’s a policy for this? There’s no word on coaches waiting for promotion for years or on local sportspersons failing to make it to the state-run academies. The city has nearly 10 sports complexes, but all house the same facilities. There’s no Olympic-size swimming pool in the city, the renovation of the Sector 17 football stadium came out to be a trouble for the Sports Department and the skating rink at Sector 23 is still on paper. What suggestions the administration is seeking?” questioned Ish, a sports enthusiasts.