The local Shaheed Bhagat Singh stadium is in a shambles. Reeking infrastructure and lack of coaches has plagued the facility for more than 12 years now.
No coach has been appointed for hockey, athletics, badminton, table-tennis, wrestling, basketball and other sports. There were coaches for shooting and handball. However, they were promoted and posted as district sports officer in Ferozepur and Fazilka, respectively. The number of coaches sanctioned for Ferozepur is also not fixed.
"The government has virtually given up ownership and management of the stadium with sporting enthusiasts spending money out of their pockets to carry on playing. Badminton courts are in a pathetic state," said Manoj Gupta, president, Satluj Badminton Club, Ferozepur.
"The district has a sporting culture. Recently, of the 10 sportsperson appointed as DSPs, three were from here. We need a system that encourages sportsmen," said Dr Harsh Bhola, a local sports lover.
"In 2011, during the Kabaddi World Cup, Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had announced the rebuilding of the stadium. However, nothing happened. Stadiums have been set up in Fazilka and Jalalabad, but there has been noting for Ferozepur," said advocate Gulshan Monga.
However, not all is lost for local sports lovers and players. SSP Manminder Singh heads the local Sher Shah Wali Trust, which has been running a Hockey Academy. The Trust arranges two temporary coaches, diet and sports kits for hockey players.
District sports officer Sunil Sharma admitted that there were shortages of coaches. "Coaches of boxing, kabaddi and boxing have been appointed recently," he claimed.
He added that daily diet was also being provided to sportspersons as facilitated by the government.
"To increase interest in sports in villages, a scheme called the Panchayat Yuva Kridaa Aur Khel Abhiyan (PSKKA) scheme has been started and volunteers have been recruited on stipend," the DSO added.
He added that a major part of the repair and renovation of the stadium would be finished by August this year.
He claimed a detailed report on vacancies in coaching was regularly sent out to the department office in Chandigarh, but action was yet to be taken.
LACK OF TRAINING
Reeking infrastructure and lack of coaches has plagued the facility for more than 12 years now
No coach has been appointed for hockey, athletics, badminton, table-tennis, wrestling, basketball and other sports
A major part of the repair and renovation of the stadium would be finished by August this year
Sunil Sharma, Ferozepur sports officer