SPORTS POLICY – BY RAVI MANDREKAR

Olympic games are over. India returned with only 2 medals, One silver by P. V. Sindhu in Badminton and one bronz by Sakhi in wrestling. Entire nation rejoiced with only two medals as if the country has conquored the world.  Though efforts of 3 other girls were appreciated by the nation,  out of three girls the performance of Deepa Karmakar made the nation proud as she lost a medal by a wisker. Why the loss should make us proud? The reason is she had only one medal in international competetion, the reason is she defeated world class Chinese Player. However Sania Mirza beecause of her international tenis ranking in doubles could not get us a medal and finished fourth. Lalita Babar’s performance was creditable though  she finished 10th.
The question is how long we are going to be satisfied with only two or three medals? The question is why did we send contingent of 100 players? Why our players finish 15th or 20thin the competition or most of them loose in the firs round? Losing is part of the game, but losing badly does not make us proud. Why Iceland with polulation of only 3,30,000 population qualifies for European Football championships, does not loose a single match in the qualifying rounds defeats England, a powerhouse in world football.  And why do we keep on crying or discussing after every olympic games about what is wrong with us in sports? 
Why no sportsman from Maharashtra has ever worn olympic title? The answer is clear. But no one in Maharashtra wants to set a sports policy or take long term steps for any improvements. Our politicians only want to occupy Chair and use sports as a center for mass contact and get publicity through sportspersons are famous and popular.
The results will take time. There is no magic wand. One suggestion is that call international sportmen who have dne well on International stage and make them coordinator for each sports descipline and freedom to incorporate their thoughts.
This article is to start a brain storming and with vision that Maharashtra should at least now start real efforts in bringing sports culture in the state.
VISION
Vision Statement
·        Spread sports culture
·        Increase physical fitness of Society by providing basic facilities across Maharashtra ( some financial grants may be available from central Government under the scheme created by Sports Ministry)
·        Provide facilities, training, diet, coaching to achieve excellence in sports in national and international level
·        Involvement of International Sportsmen
Sports Culture
·        Development of grounds
·        Choose 10 sports, (to start with) which does not cost much money to play, such as Kabaddi, Khokho, Volleyball, football, athletics, provide facilities for games to be played every day at Taluka level. Sports, PT teacher can be asked to supervise
Note: In Man Desh Taluka in Dist. Satara one organization conducts such sports facility, provides Banana/egg/ ground nuts and jaugary to each player and provide shoes if they play minimum number of days in a month
·        Organise Inter school / inter Taluka Tournaments
·        Request Doordarshan to cover event
RESOURCES RQUIRED
Government and Private cooperation is a key to bring financial resources maintain facilities
Judicial Use of Government resources:
Budget for Sports: 
Present Budget is Rs. 300 Cr. Increase to Rs. 500 Cr. To be checked
            Capital Expenses
To Creating Facilities: First maintain and upgrade existing facilities
Revenue Expenses
Expenses for organizing sports
Honararium for Coaches
Administrative Expenses
Provision of finance: Exploring Jt Ventures possibility
·        Taxing private Clubs Gymkhanas who are given Government land and concessions ( Note: Some of the Clubs have 40 Cr. to 400 Cr. reserves).
·        Take 50% share of entrance fee if more than Rs. 1 lack
·        Force 20% permanent membership to sportsmen participated in National Tournaments (even in age group) as well as excelled
·        Allow private participation to create, run sports centers at District level (with condition to bear all expenses, with minimum limit) to conduct sports activities with proper safeguards. (Participation of state associations should be one of the pre conditions). Offer financial incentives to create and run facilities
·        Form a joint sector drive like Gold quest with International sportsmen
Create sports centers on the lines of NIS Patiala / Sports Authority of India
·        (If funds do not permit, facilities for only for 10 sports ma be provided and then expand)
§  Balewadi Pune 
§  One in Nagpur, Vidarbha
§  Other in Aurangabad, Marathwada
These will be backbone for conducting 3 levels of coaching schemes
For  training State Teams
Get foreign coaches to train our coaches, providing facilities to international sportsmen from Maharashtra
(Check whether grants are available from Central Government)
Provide good facilities at Krida Sankul already in existence and expand on the same principle in every district.
           
Involvement of State Sports Associations only in their sports and help them to conduct camps
INCENTIVES
·        Create graduates in sports after studying requirement of manpower
·        Reasonable Guarantee of jobs for successful sportsmen & coaches
                        In Governments
·        General Administration
·        Sports Department
·        Police
·        Government Corporation
Reservation in Admissions to educational Institutes
·        Colleges
·        Professional Studies
Awards for Achievers
(Players, coaches and even administrators)
§  In cash
§  Guarantee of Government supports for life pensions similar to Govt. Staff for achievers
Involvement of International Sportsmen in Sports policy
·        To get respectability
·        In planning,
·        In Public Relations,
·        To raise finance,
·        On advisory committee,
·        Appointment sportsmen those who can actually work as executives for audit technical as well as use of funds,
Some names
Cricket: Tendulkar, Wadekar
Hockey: Dhanraj Pillay, Mervin Fernandes Viren Raskina
            Athletics: Vijendra Singh
            Table tennis: Niraj Bajaj, Kamalesh Mehta
            Billiards: Arvind Savoor (stays in Bangalore)
            Football
            Chess: Pravin Thipse
            Smita Divgikar, Anita Sood
Plan of Action
Short Term
Organise Seminars with participation of Sports Stars, Media, State Associations in various strategic places
Start inter district tournaments under MNS of different sports at district level with small prize money. Ex: Football in Kolhapur, Athletics in Nasik, Volleyball, Kabaddi, Kho Kho in Ratnagiri
Long Term

Prepare master plan for implementation with involvement of Sports persons and proven and tested coaches. 
SPORTSNASHA
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