First pandemic, now lack of coaches play spoilsport for sportspersons in UP’s Prayagraj
It has been a double whammy for local budding sportspersons as for the last year-and-a-half they were deprived of training because of the Covid-induced lockdowns and now it is the lack of coaches that is further affecting their practice.
Although sports courts and grounds in the state have opened from July 5 and players have also started arriving but lack of coaches has raised many a concern among the sporting fraternity.
The condition can be gauged from the fact that at Madan Mohan Malviya stadium there is just one coach who imparts training for athletics while the remaining sports have no coaches as of now. Similar is the condition at Amitabh Bachchan Sports Complex where there are no coaches for many sports.
Officials said most of the coaches posted at Madan Mohan Malviya stadium and Amitabh Bachchan Sports Complex were on ad-hoc basis and their services were terminated in March last year after the first lockdown. Since then, there have been no appointments, officials said.
The problem has further increased as the appointments of trainers have to be made through the GeM (Government e-Market Place) portal. Many trainers have openly opposed the process and the matter is pending in the courts, they added.
The trainers, who are ready to work through GeM portal, are being posted in other districts.
Satyendra Singh, who has been working in Madan Mohan Malviya stadium for years, has been posted to Varanasi and cricket coach Kaushik Pal has been sent to Kaushambi.
As a result there are no coaches for cricket, hockey, football, badminton, kabaddi, weightlifting, judo, taekwondo, volleyball, handball, boxing, kho-kho, wrestling, squash and gymnastics in these two sports facilities in the district.
Sportspersons claim that against two dozen coaches that were working earlier at these two facilities, now there are merely four including one for athletcis at MMM Stadium and three-- one each for volleyball, basketball and softball-- at Amitabh Bachchan Sports Complex.
“Absence of a coach is a major drawback as then you don’t have anyone to guide and help improve your game. A coach is very much needed,” said Ragini, a young badminton player.
When contacted regional sports officer (RSO), Prayagraj, Anil Tiwari said the matter was being looked into.
“Players have started coming and are practicing at Madan Mohan Malviya stadium and Amitabh Bachchan Sports Complex. Coaches of many sports are to be appointed soon. So far only soft tennis coach has come and other are also expected to arrive soon,” Tiwari said.