The sports fraternity has high expectations from the Union Budget 2015 as they hope that the Central government will focus on improving sports infrastructure at grass root level, identifying new talent from rural segment and providing professional training to them.
The sportspersons say that there's a hidden talent in abundance in the rural areas which needs to be churned out. The process needs involvement of more and more children in the sports events.
Punjab Basketball Association general secretary Teja Singh Dhaliwal said, "Government must devise a provision where sporting activities be arranged regularly for children on mass level. Appropriate budget should be alloted to deal with the expenditure on players and coaches. Ex-servicemen, retired police personnel and players of state, national or international level should be involved for traning the youth. Vacant lands in rural areas should be used to build sports centres or clubs."
Hockey Olympian Sukhveer Singh Grewal said, "There is a dearth of professional training at grassroot level. Priority should be given to the players and coaches. Then comes the infrastructure which is also a big concern. A provision should be made wherein the sporting infrastructure and equipments be made available to all the children both at urban and rural areas of the state. Sports should be made compulsory for school going kids."
Sports Authority of India (SAI) head coach (athletics) SS Pannu said, "The decision of increasing the amount of cash prizes for the players, who excel on international level, was a welcome move but at the same time, there's a need to focus on providing good infrastructure at the grass root level. These things should be taken into account while drafting the budget. If the centre continues to hire coaches on contract basis, it must be ensured that the coaches possess required national or international exposure or expertise to train the players."