There were more creases on Virendra Navati's brows than ripples on the BAC pool, the venue of the National junior and sub-junior aquatics championship which concluded here on Friday.
The SFI Secretary General is quite a worried man, with the pace of preparations for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi; everything from infrastructure to coaching camps hanging in the balance. The latter has turned out to be contentious issue between SAI and SFI in the past six months.
SFI, at the suggestion of National coach, S. Pradeep Kumar's report, wanted it to be shifted from Pune to Bangalore, but SAI did not budge and the attendance at the camp was not encouraging as most swimmers preferred to train on their own, especially Bangalore based swimmers.
“The recommendations made by the chief coach were based on availability of all facilities at Bangalore and as a large number of the probables are from Bangalore, it did make sense,” said Mr. Nanavati in a chat with the Hindu here. Another setback for SFI was in its inability to secure the services of a foreign coach.
“I think we have been at it for the past two years and over a dozen proposals were sent and we short-listed a few including former Australian team coach, AlanThompson and arrived at a figure for his fees. We on our part offered $ 2,000 besides SAI fees of $ 5000. But officials concerned simply sat on those files and did nothing, and Thompson took up another offer,” revealed Nanavati.
He hopes that swimming infrastructure for the Test meet scheduled to start on July 27, ahead of CWG, would be ready before the swimmers assemble. SFI would hold a continuous camp at Delhi after the Test meet.
Ahead of the CWG, a Commonwealth waterpolo championship will be held at Panaji and 10 countries have confirmed their participation in the meet, said Mr.Nanavati.
On the medal prospects at CWG, Mr.Nanavati expressed the hope that Indian swimmers would bring honours. “Despite all the odds that we are facing now, I am hopeful our swimmers of putting up at good show at Delhi,” said the SFI Secretary General.