Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday 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.
The PPCC 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.“Olympian expectations should be matched with Olympian support and facilities,” Capt Amarinder told a group of sportspersons who met him here on Monday at a function organised by the party to mark the National Sports Day. He said, it was wrong and unjustified to expect the athletes to win medals when they were not being provided with the required facilities.
The Lok Sabha MP from Amritsar said, “The Punjabi youth have a special potential which needs to be utilised. However, with the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP 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 state government that has destroyed an entire generation.
Capt Amarinder said that 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 that the games like hockey can fetch only a single medal. “We need to focus on events like Athletics and Swimming where there is a lot of scope and I am sure our people have the 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 that 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 of 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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