Eight major games in Ludhiana are handicapped due to unavailability of professional coaches to train the players. Punjab sports department has failed to appoint contractual and permanent coaches for the games, including handball, swimming, judo, baseball, lawn tennis, cricket, softball and football.
Ludhiana district has a total of 23 coaches —two permanent coaches and 19 contractual coaches appointed by Punjab sports department and two coaches appointed by the Punjab Institute of Sports. But surprisingly, there is not a single coach for the above listed sports except a female coach for football in the entire district.
Many players and residents claimed that though Punjab deputy chief minister has been promoting games and promising to upgrade the sports in Punjab, he has failed to appoint coaches for the major games.
Player Harneek Singh said, “In the absence of professional coaches for these eight games, players are not able to excel in their game. There is a huge number of players who can’t even afford to get training from private coaches. I request the authorities to take required steps for appointing permanent coaches for players in Ludhiana.”
“Players feel that state government spends crores of rupees on organising kabbadi cup every year, but has totally neglected other games. Many players from Ludhiana have won medals in olympics and at international level, so government should also provide them with sufficient facilities,” Singh said.
Sports promoter Teja Singh Dhaliwal said, “Punjab government is not taking sports on priority, as for the past several years there are no coaches for many games. Government should appoint new coaches, so that players should not lose hope of learning. Moreover, coaches help them learn good things, besides teaching them the game.”
When contacted, district sports officer Satnam Singh said, “I have written a letter to Punjab government for the appointment of new coaches for different games. I will take up the matter with higher authorities again, so that players do not have to suffer in future.”