When the sports ministry formulated the idea of giving cash rewards to coaches who train the country's elite players, the concept was hailed. But over the years, the ministry failed to revise its policy, resulting in a host of complaints.
On Monday, when sports minister, Ajay Maken, distributed cash awards to medal winners and their coaches, controversy overshadowed the function.In what could be termed as a glaring oversight, the name of Rajinder Singh Saini, coach of Guangzhou Asian Games gold-medallist 400m hurdler, Joseph Abraham, was missing from the list of awardees. Not one to take things lying down, Saini made his displeasure known by raising his voice.
The list also had quite a few prominent names missing, but a senior SAI official, PC Kashyap, who had prepared the list, said that he would examine the case and sort out the issue. “In some cases, my office had received two names for an individual player. We need to check the records before handing over the cheques,” said Kashyap. Maken too tried to soothe frayed nerves. During the function, 130 sportspersons and 132 coaches were given cash awards to the tune of R7.71 crore.