The Punjab government has spent nearly Rs. 4.3 crore on the construction of a new stadium in the town but unless it provides sufficient coaches, the stadium would but serve the purpose of conducting kabaddi matches only. This is the sentiment conveyed by sports lovers. Ironically, the district, which has hosted three world kabaddi tournaments successfully, does not have even a kabbadi coach.
The role of a coach is paramount in the development of a sportsperson and promotion of sports but the successive governments have not given the subject much thought. Two years ago, the state sports department took the initiative to hire 231 permanent coaches but the process hit a roadblock when some coaches working on ad-hoc basis filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana high court. Majority of the coaches presently in the department are either working on ad-hoc basis or have been called from the Punjab Police.
Hoshiarpur district has only seven coaches, two at the district headquarters, two in Mahilpur and one each in Dasuya, Garhdiwala and Ramgarh Sikri. Three coaches are from Punjab Police, while one is on deputation from the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the remaining two are working on contract basis.
For years, there has been no coach for basketball, handball, badminton, boxing, wrestling, table tennis, cricket, judo, swimming and kabaddi.
District sports officer Vijay Kumar said the problem of shortage of coaches was to be tackled at the government level. "We have sent our demand to the department. Let us see when it is met. We are not entitled at the local level to make temporary recruitment," he said.