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Nov 12, 2019-Tuesday



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Tuesday, Nov 12, 2019

Dipika Pallikal urges national squash federation to come up with ‘long-term solution’ to fix coaching woes

CWG silver medalist Dipika Pallikal opens up on why the idea of short-team coaches is not a long-term solution to fix coaching woes in squash.

other-sports Updated: Sep 14, 2019 15:30 IST
Karan Prashant Saxena
Karan Prashant Saxena
Hindustan Times, Delhi
File photo of Dipika Pallikal.
File photo of Dipika Pallikal.(Getty Images)

Last year, ahead of Commonwealth Games, India’s foreign squash coach Achraf El Karargui resigned from his duties following a bitter tiff with the Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI). The Egyptian, had sent a mail to Sports Authority of India (SAI) in which he slammed the body as “unprofessional” and left the Indian contingent without a coach in the CWG. Since then, the body has failed to hire a permanent foreign coach, and in April, they suggested the idea of hiring event-based coaches instead of full-time ones.

Speaking to reporters at an Adidas event in New Delhi on Friday, CWG silver medalist Dipika Pallikal criticised the federation for not being able to find a long-term solution to the coaching woes.

“Someone saying they are going to have event-based coach, some are saying it will be a short-term coach and some are saying there will be no coach. It is a bit of a confusion right now. A short-term or event-based coach is not a long-term solution for any sport. You need to have a proper structure and a base,” she said.

The 27-year-old further added that a player will find it hard to have a coach who does not understand their style of play. “You must have a full-time coach if you want to win medals for the country. You cannot have a coach for an event who has no clue how you play and has never had communication with you. A coach-student relation is built when a coach spends enough time with you to understand what you go through. I might not like a coach to come in between games and talk to me, but how a new coach is supposed to know that. It is not how squash will grow in India. It is a sad situation, but unfortunately we cannot do much,” she added.

Pallikal also went on to address IOA’s plans to boycott CWG 2022 over the exclusion of shooting. The body in July, had said that they are considering pulling out of the multi-sport event in order to protest against the exclusion of shooting, in which India has won most medals over the years. Union Sports minister Kiren Rijiju, in August last week, said that the IOA officials met him to discuss the issue, and added that it is too early to make a call of this magnitude.

Pallikal said that boycotting CWG would be unfair to all the other athletes in the county. “I think its harsh. You are stealing other people’s chances of winning medals because of exclusion of one sport. Yes, the shooters are doing so well for the country. Most of the medals come from them. But you cannot rob one person’s chance of winning a medal just because one sport is not there. I am pretty sure they would have just said it in a spur of the moment. Because winning medals is utmost important for IOA, but of course, they must rethink why they said it,” Pallikal said.

The Asian Games bronze medalist is currently taking a break from the sport following a tough 2018. But she hopes to make a return next year. “I want to come by 2020 end. I want to train for 8-9 months before returning to the sport,” she signed off.