Chandigarh: Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Capt Amarinder Singh said that the Congress government will evolve a long term sports policy that will specially promote the athletes with exceptional talent for medal winning performances in international events, particularly the Olympics.
“We will not only reward the athletes after winning the medals, but will also provide them best of the facilities beforehand so that they are able to perform their best and win the medals”, he told a group of sports persons who met him here today at a function organised by the party to mark the National Sports Day.
“Olympian expectations should be matched with Olympian support and facilities”, he remarked, while adding, “it was wrong and unjustified to expect the athletes to win medals when they were not being provided with the required facilities”.
The PCC president suggested that instead of waiting for the athletes to win medals, of their own, and reward them later, they should be encouraged and supported before the events and during the training so that they perform better. He said, sports promotion will be an important part of the party manifesto that is currently under preparation.
The PCC president stated that the Punjabi youth have a special potential which needed to be utilised. “However, with Badals at the helm, our potential athletes have been trapped in drugs and we do not have enough youth who qualify for recruitment in the armed forces even what to speak of Olympic performances”, he said, while referring to the scourge of drugs promoted and patronised by the Badal government that has destroyed an entire generation.
Capt Amarinder said, while the complete details of the sports policy will be included in the party manifesto, the focus will be on the games that fetch more medals. He pointed out, the games like hockey can fetch only single medal. “We need to focus on events like the athletics and swimming where there is a lot of scope and I am sure our people have potential to excel”, he said, while adding, the sportspersons need to be groomed years before the events and not rewarded or rebuked after the events.
The former Chief Minister said, while it was good to encourage, honour and reward the Olympian medalists, actually this encouragement should be there before the events. “If we encourage our athletes before they win the medals and provide them best of facilities, they will perform better and win medals and not the other way round”, he observed, while adding, “instead waiting for them to win the medals before we provide rewards and incentives to them, we should help and prepare them in advance to give their best performance and win the medals”.
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