At least 125 sportspersons of Punjab will be given government employment in the first phase under a new job policy for meritorious sportspersons that will be tabled for approval in the next cabinet meeting, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said on Thursday. The cabinet meeting is likely to be held next week.
Under this policy, players recruited for government jobs will have to spend the initial 10 years in the sports department on deputation to contribute to developing sports talent.
“We will also ensure promotions for the players, besides fixing incentives for coaches,” the deputy CM said while announcing the schedule of the fifth edition of Kabaddi World Cup to be held in Punjab from December 6 to 20, having a total prize money of Rs 5.27 crore.
Sukhbir, who also holds the sports portfolio, said the state government was working in league with other kabaddi-playing nations to devise modalities to include the sport in the Commonwealth and Asian Games.
Nineteen teams — 11 men’s and eight women’s teams — from 14 countries would vie for top honours at the World Cup. In the men’s section, teams from India, the US, Iran, Pakistan, Denmark, Australia, England, Spain, Canada, Argentina, Denmark and Sweden would take part, while the women’s section would feature teams from the US, India, England, Denmark, Pakistan, New Zealand, Mexico and Azerbaijan.
“Denmark and Azerbaijan in the men’s and women’s sections, respectively, are taking part for the first time,” the deputy CM added.
While the opening ceremony would be held at Guru Gobind Singh Stadium, Jalandhar, on December 6, while the closing ceremony and the men’s final would be held at Badal village stadium in Muktsar on December 20. The women’s final would be played at the Barnala sports stadium on December 19. The men’s and women’s semifinals would be held at the Kabaddi Stadium, Dirba (Sangrur).
As per the deputy CM, the Punjab Institute of Sports, set up at SAS Nagar with 11 disciplines, would work on the policy of ‘catch them young’. The selected budding players would be given every facility free of cost, from education to coaching, diet and training.
While the process of selecting budding players will begin early next year, Sukhbir stated that by March 2015, all coaches — of national as well as international level — will be appointed. “My objective is that in the next international games, the Indian contingent should be dominated by Punjab players,” he said.
He said he would request the Prime Minister and the Union sports minister for substantial increase in the sports budget so that Indian players could compete at the international level.
He said the SAD-BJP government had set up 10 multi-purpose stadiums and six Astroturf hockey stadiums. “We can proudly claim that of the three world-class Astroturf in India, two are in Punjab,” he said.
World cup prize money
Winner Rs 2 crore
Runner-up Rs 1 crore
Third place Rs 51 lakh
Winner Rs 1 crore
Runner-up Rs 51 lakh
Third place Rs 25 lakh