Gagan, Mukesh talk grassroot programme for better state sports policy

Responding to the new state sports policy being framed, they stressed on an intermediate programme striking the right balance between education and sports.

Olympians Gagan Narang and N. Mukesh Kumar, both from Air India, at their office in Hyderabad.   -  V.V. SUBRAHMANYAM

 

Olympians N. Mukesh Kumar and Gagan Narang have emphasised on the need to have a grassroot development programme for any sports policy to be more effective. They feel the future cannot be strong unless the basics are right.

The two senior officers in Air India, responding to the new state sports policy being framed, stressed on an intermediate programme striking the right kind of balance between education and sports.

“Sports infrastructure in colleges and schools will lay a stronger foundation in early days and ensure right training and guidance along with education,” Gagan said.

“It is also imperative for post-sport administrative programs for smooth transition to administrative jobs in government or private sectors for all the athletes,” the champion shooter added.

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Both Mukesh and Gagan feel the existing incentives policy is good but feel it is important to have a support system which takes the young talent to that level. “It should not be confined just to giving incentives to medallists,” they say.

“We have to have a development curriculum for coaches. This will also help fill the knowledge gaps from block level to elite level,” say the champion duo.

“A brain-storming session involving all concerned will get the right kind of inputs from all stakeholders for an inclusive sports policy for sure,” Gagan said.

And, Mukesh, a product of sports hostel, insists the hostel set-up should be revived in a professional way and that all the district sports associations should be given sports facilities free of cost to conduct tournaments which help in scouting talent. “I strongly feel unless you have an annual budget of at least Rs. 1,000 crore, any sports policy will be found wanting,” he said.

“Sports quota jobs in the government and the PSUs are a must or else why should someone take up sports. And, also let all those former internationals willing to give back to sport be encouraged,” said the former hockey star.