Sportspersons’ national hopes hamstrung by inadequate training

APOA and SAAP are not on the same page, it is learnt

September 14, 2022 11:05 pm | Updated September 15, 2022 08:32 am IST - VIJAYAWADA

Youth athletes warming up for football training at the IGMC Stadium in Vijayawada in this file photo.

Youth athletes warming up for football training at the IGMC Stadium in Vijayawada in this file photo.

A ‘lack of coordination and cooperation’ between the Andhra Pradesh Olympic Association (APOA) and the Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh (SAAP) has hamstrung the training of sportspersons from the State who are set to participate in the event, even as the Gujarat government has announced that it would give financial aid to sportspersons of its State who bag gold medals in the tournament.

SAAP has not taken any initiative to provide the necessary kit, sportswear, or budget to the players. Even more surprisingly, no coaching camps were conducted for the players selected for the national games till now. While APOA says there is “no response to its requests and representations” regarding the national games, the SAAP stoutly says it has not received any such requests. 

According to information, both SAAP and APOA have to work in tandem in the selection of players and imparting coaching to them. “But this time, it is missing,” say sources.

The schedule of the national games was announced in July this year. However, there was no response from SAAP. As a result, the players are now going to pack their bags for the games without proper coaching.

APOA general secretary R.K. Purushottham says the schedule was announced just two months ago. “Training camps could not be conducted due to insufficient time. Also, there has been no response from SAAP. APOA will bear the expenditure involved in providing quality sports kits to the players, such as shoes, kit bags, tracksuits, and transportation. There was no financial assistance from the State government. A delegation of 250 persons, including players, team managers, coaches, chef de missions, and APOA staff are going to Gujarat to attend the games,” says Mr. Purushottam.

When contacted, SAAP Chairman Byreddi Siddharth Reddy says there has been no communication from APOA. “We have not received any requests from the olympic association in the State. SAAP has not received any communication regarding kits or budget,” he said. When asked about the government’s role, he says ‘the onus lies on APOA’.

The APOA (for the combined State of A.P.) organised the 32nd National Games in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam in 2002. The 36th National Games are scheduled to be conducted from September 27 to October 10 at Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Surat, Rajkot, Vadodara, and Bhavnagar in  Gujarat in 36 sporting disciplines. After a seven-year gap, the National Games are being organised again. The 35th National Games were held in Kerala in 2015.

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