Sports not on political party’s priority list, say enthusiasts



Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 26th

Sports enthusiasts feel that sport is not on the priority list of political parties contesting the general election. Nevertheless, Amritsar in particular is a strong region for producing international-level athletes in various fields such as cricket, hockey, track and field, and track and field.

Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, athletes and veterans feel that their demands and aspirations are yet to be answered. They charged that political parties’ disillusionment with the sport was reflected in governance as successive governments had not initiated sincere steps to develop player nurseries to catch players in border areas.

There is a visible lack of playgrounds in the Holy City. There are no properly trained coaches or playgrounds here, which deters young players from participating in their favorite games.

The district sports office has 20 coaches to train the youth. Coaching is insufficient because it does not cover all sports disciplines. There are some games, such as gymnastics, swimming, and track and field, that require multiple coaches to reach budding players.

Harpreet Singh, an avid sports fan, said that with urbanization, the city has grown diversely, but there has been no serious attempt by the government to create enough playgrounds to develop athletes from a young age. said.

He said this gap could be a valuable loss for the region, as the number of nationally represented athletes could decline in the coming years. He cited the example of Maharaja Ranjit Singh Hockey Academy and said the efforts of veteran hockey players and the school are helping to develop young hockey players.

This is why at least five local hockey players are representing the country in international championships.

Michael, a sports enthusiast, said the only notable addition to sports infrastructure was the opening in 2010 of an eight-acre indoor/outdoor multi-purpose sports complex in the Ranjit Avenue area.

The site, the dream project of cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, was the subject of a nine-year long legal battle. Various dignitaries broke ground, but the actual work never began.

For many years, the government has operated arcades in some schools and paid them dividends. However, no efforts were made to expand these centers to more schools.

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