Bindra: 'Sports Code a path-breaking moment for Indian sports'

The Indian shooter also talked about coach-player relationship and his role as chair of the Target Olympic Podium (TOP) Committee among other things.

Bindra: An athlete can deliver medals only when we improve governance standards.   -  PTI

A short while after Anil Kumble stepped down as the coach of the Indian cricket team, ace shooter Abhinav Bindra took to twitter to say that even though he hated his coach Uwe Riesterer, he stuck with him for 20 years. ‘He always told me things I did not want to hear,’ Bindra tweeted.

Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the The Sports Law & Policy Symposium here on Saturday, Bindra explained - once again without naming Virat Kohli and Kumble - that a "coach cannot be a yes-man”.


Sticking with a coach:

A coach cannot be a yes-man. In an athlete’s career, he will not always like what his coach has to say. This is normal, in any working relationship or job in the world. You won’t always like what your boss has to say, for example. It can’t be a one-way relationship.

His role as chair of the Target Olympic Podium (TOP) Committee:

We have been tasked with identifying talent to include in the TOP scheme. We will meet on July 21 to identify the names of athletes that we can consider. If the Sports Ministry gives us the mandate that the TOP scheme is focussed only on 2020 Tokyo Olympics medal prospects, then the pool of athletes will be smaller. In my opinion, all sportspersons who qualify for the Olympics deserve financial support from the government, through one scheme or the other - be it via TOP
or ACTC (Annual Calendar for Training and Competition) or other schemes. Only the degree of support should vary.

Overlapping of funds for Olympic-bound athletes:

This is outside my mandate, but I believe that the government is working on this. If an athlete is being considered for the TOP scheme, he/she might have to declare other sources of funding (like not-for-profit foundation Olympic Gold Quest, for example). This will prevent overlapping of funds, which is only fair.

His role in the National Sports Development Code panel:

The committee head Injeti Srinivas did a great job, and we have come up with a very good document of recommendations. It needs to reach its logical conclusion. This will be path-breaking moment for Indian sports, as it will change the landscape of sports governance. This (implementing the Sports Code) should be a priority.

The case of Kanchanmala Pande, who reportedly had to beg for money to compete in the Para Swimming Championships at Berlin recently:

I just retweeted a news article. I raised the issue of basic athlete management. An athlete can deliver medals only when we improve governance standards. This can be addressed if the Sports Code comes through. My team had a chat with Kanchanmala. Whatever information we got was shared with the Sports Ministry through a formal letter.

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