Sporting talent going untapped

Staff Reporter
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There are no coaches for many games and sports in Srikakulam district

Lucky ones!: Children at a training camp in table tennis at KR Stadium in Srikakulam. — Photo: Basheer
Lucky ones!: Children at a training camp in table tennis at KR Stadium in Srikakulam. — Photo: Basheer

The district, which is home to great sports personalities such as Kodi Ramamurthy and Karanam Malleswari, cannot be expected to produce national and State level players hereafter, thanks to non availability of coaches for many games and sports. With the closure of the weightlifting academy, few youngsters are keen on proving themselves in the activity at the State and national level competition.

Acute shortage of coaches has dampened the spirits of children, though they are keen on participating in summer camps being held at Kodi Ramamurthy stadium here and in various venues in other parts of the district.

At present, coaching facility is available only for football and table tennis. Senior players have been asked to handle the remaining games and sports, including handball, volleyball, kabaddi, and athletics.

Consolidated pay

According to sources, the government pays a consolidated amount to coaches, forcing them to choose other professions or join as physical education teachers. The government pays only between Rs.8,000 and Rs.15,000 to coaches who have played at the national level competitions. “The government has not regularised the services of many coaches in the State though they have been working since 1993. That is why many talented persons are not interested in joining as coaches, as they see no prospects in their respective fields,” says a senior official.

Many sportspersons have been urging the government to regularise the services of the existing coaches so that talented players will train youngsters in various sports and games. “The government spends thousands of crores in organising Commonwealth Games. It, however, spends little amount to extend coaching facility,” feels another official.

Fund crunch

Some of the local players complain that the district sports officials have not provided even sufficient number of footballs to the children. The government has sanctioned Rs.35,000 for the purchase of equipment. The amount is not sufficient to purchase sports material, the official adds.

  • Coaching facility available only for football and table tennis
  • Senior players handling other games and sports

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