GOVT FUNDS ARE NOT LIKE DOLE, SAYS SAI BOSS

Nee­lam Ka­pur has made sup­port to ath­letes flex­i­ble

Mail Today - - ASIAD - By S.Kan­nan in New Delhi

THE Sports Author­ity of In­dia (SAI) di­rec­tor gen­eral Nee­lam Ka­pur has wel­comed strong steps be­ing taken by na­tional sports fed­er­a­tions in en­forc­ing dis­ci­pline.

In re­cent times, two prominent fed­er­a­tions — weightlift­ing and wrestling — have placed a pre­mium on dis­ci­pline and ath­letes show­ing up at the na­tional camps on time.

Speak­ing to MAIL TO­DAY on Thurs­day, Nee­lam Ka­pur said: “At this level, we must have dis­ci­pline and the steps be­ing taken by fed­er­a­tions are in the right direc­tion.”

Af­ter tak­ing over the SAI, she has been hold­ing brain­storm­ing meet­ings with var­i­ous sports fed­er­a­tions and tried to get a clear picture on what they ex­pect in terms of sup­port from the SAI and the gov­ern­ment.

Sports fed­er­a­tions of­fi­cials who spoke to MAIL TO­DAY have said the new SAI DG is play­ing a proac­tive role and their meet­ings have been fruit­ful.

Af­ter the Com­mon­wealth Games, de­tailed review meet­ing have been held be­tween the SAI and fed­er­a­tions. More im­por­tant, Nee­lam Ka­pur has taken up in­di­vid­ual fund­ing for ath­letes in var­i­ous sport­ing dis­ci­plines in a de­tailed man­ner.

“The sup­port from the gov­ern­ment is not just about the `50,000 al­lowance they get ev­ery month. We have tried to un­der­stand the nu­ances and de­tailed plans sub­mit­ted and then acted upon it,” she said.

In less than ten days, two meet­ings of the Mis­sion Olympic Cell have been held. As chair­per­son of the meet­ings, Ka­pur has made the sup­port be­ing given to ath­letes flex­i­ble. “At present, there are around 190 ath­letes be­ing sup­ported. Af­ter our re­views, 25 to 30 names were dropped and some added. The fac­tors be­ing con­sid­ered are po­ten­tial of the ath­lete, age and how strong the chances are of a par­tic­u­lar sport win­ning a medal at the Asian Games or the Olympics,” said Ka­pur.

She had vis­ited the ex­pan­sive NIS Pa­tiala cam­pus last week and in­ter­acted with ath­letes, coaches and of­fi­cials at the cam­pus. On Thurs­day, she vis­ited the SAI cen­tre in Lucknow.

The SAI boss also made it clear fund­ing from gov­ern­ment un­der ACTC pro­gramme (an­nual train­ing cum com­pe­ti­tion) will not be like giv­ing a dole. “I made it clear to the archery of­fi­cials they need to get their house in or­der. They need to tell us what is the pro­file of in­ter­na­tional coaches they want to hire. With­out de­tails, it’s not pos­si­ble to hire coaches and spend on tours,” was her mes­sage.

Ka­pur has said the Mis­sion Olympic Cell review meet­ings will be­come a reg­u­lar fea­ture and the feed­back re­ceived from sports fed­er­a­tions will be vi­tal.

SAI DG Nee­lam Ka­pur

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