Committed to creating a healthy, positive atmosphere for sports: UP sports minister | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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Committed to creating a healthy, positive atmosphere for sports: UP sports minister

As UP sports minister Chetan Chauhan wants things to move in the right direction at least for the good of sports and sportspersons.

lucknow Updated: Aug 03, 2017 15:24 IST
Sharad Deep
“My priority is to give all the sportspersons a place for training/coaching and equipment/infrastructure so that they can achieve whatever they want to.”
“My priority is to give all the sportspersons a place for training/coaching and equipment/infrastructure so that they can achieve whatever they want to.”(HT Photo)

Making a debut for Team India in Test cricket against New Zealand in 1969, Chetan Chauhan took 25 minutes to score his first run – a square cut for four off Bruce Taylor.

His patience level remains the same even after 48 years and as UP sports minister he wants things to move in the right direction at least for the good of sports and sportspersons. Chetan Chauhan, 70, speaks out his heart in an interview with Sharad Deep. Excerpts:

Q: What are your priorities for sports in the state?

A: I want to create a different atmosphere for sports and sportspersons in the state as nothing positive has been done for sports in the last 10-15 years. My priority is to give all the sportspersons a place for training/coaching and equipment/infrastructure so that they can achieve whatever they want to.

Q: What steps you have taken for this?

A: We have involved former national and international players in the selection process of all three sports colleges and 44 sports hostels across the state as selectors or advisors. We have managed to check irregularities in admissions. Due to corruption, sportspersons from the state are not able to make a mark but now I want to change the system.

Q: Are you planning an inquiry into the conduct of the Junior Hockey World Cup last year?

A: I don’t want any controversy. I have nothing to do with whatever happened under the previous government. I am a positive person and want to create a healthy atmosphere for sports. If things fall in the right place, UP would be able to produce at least five medallists in next five years.

Q: Sports infrastructure at Saifai and Rampur are hardly being used.

A: Sports infrastructure in Saifai and Rampur has been set up at an exorbitant cost. I believe such facilities should have been provided in Allahabad, Varanasi, Gorakhpur and Agra. To make use of these facilities, we have plans to relocate some hostels. With facilities, Saifai can be developed as a centre of excellence. Similarly, cricketing facilities can also be used properly.

Q: But government coaches or sports officers do not train sportspersons?

A: This system will not continue any more. No coach will train sportspersons while sitting. He or she has to involve themselves in training of sportspersons. After every three months, the performance of coaches will be reviewed, and after three years, action will be taken against them if they fail to deliver.

Q: What would be the role of RSOs and DSOs in coaching?

A: Everyone has to take out time and involve himself in coaching. They are in jobs because of being sportspersons so it is their responsibility to train the new generation. All the officers have been asked to conduct at least two tournaments, including one in rural areas, so we can dig out talent.

Q: Anything on the training of coaches and officers?

A: I want coaches to remain updated with modern gadgets of sports training. We are planning refresher courses for them. If required, we will hire foreign coaches to train them and send them to places like New Delhi for further training. Sports is no more an art, it is now a science and a lot of techniques are involved. To create a constructive sports culture, we need to have coaches equipped with modern knowledge of the game.

Q: What about sports federations and state associations?

A: I will hold a meeting of all the sports federations and associations in the state and will ask them about their plan for the next three years as we are funding them. Conducting sports activities is their responsibility and government is there to support them.

Q: What are the plans for job opportunities for sportspersons in the state?

A: We are in discussion with 11 departments where job opportunities (two per cent) for sportspersons would be created. I want special recognition for sportspersons. They must get name, fame and respect for their achievements. They are the ornaments of the state.

Q: Do you have any plan for a sports university in the state?

A: There is no concrete plan right now. We are thinking on these lines. We need to have a budget of at least Rs 2,000-3,000 crore which is not easy. If the central government pitches in and we get 150-200 acre land, only then we can think on it.

Q: Any plans on privatisation of existing sports infrastructure?

A: We have plans to keep sporting infrastructure functioning from 7.30-9.30 pm so that general public, clubs and schools can use the facilities by paying some amount, which can be used for maintenance. Split posting of government staff will be arranged to look after this two-hour session. We will ask for extra staff, if required.

Q: How do you plan to promote development of sports in rural areas?

A: I am going to involve youth welfare, sports directorate and Nehru Yuva Kendra for the development of sports in rural areas under ‘Khelo India Khelo’ scheme of the central government.