Patiala, September 14
While the state government is out to revive sports culture in Punjab by holding competitions such as Khedan Watan Punjab Diyan, the Punjab Sports Department doesn’t have enough coaches to work at the grassroots level. It has been learnt that there has been no recruitment of coaches since 2014.
Currently, there are around 260 coaches working for the sports department. Notably, about 100 of these coaches have been employed on an ad hoc basis. Sources said that some disciplines are facing an acute shortage. A notable example is tennis, with only two coaches in the state. This is a reason for the increasing demand of private academies, which charge from Rs 5,000 to 10,000 from each trainee. A coach said that many talented kids miss out because they cannot afford the training.
“Without coaches at the grassroots level, you cannot produce top sportspersons,” said a national coach at the National Institute of Sports here. “Each sport should have at least one coach in a district so that trainees from humble backgrounds can get proper coaching,” he added.
Director Sports Rajesh Dhiman said there were “some administrative issues which delayed the recruitment process”. “All the files related to recruitment have been cleared. In the coming months, around 200 coaches will be recruited by the department,” Dhiman said.
Punjab’s Sports Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer said, “The government is going to recruit coaches at a large scale. Coaches will be deployed not only at the district level, but also at the block level.”
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