CHANDIGARH, DEC 31 :With a view to streamling the coaching system on a scientific manner, appointment of 169 coaches of different disciplines and 76 supporting staff is a giant step to uplift the standard of sports in Punjab. Paucity of trainers in the state was a big hurdle in providing proper training. The situation further worsened when the Sports Authority of India also reduced the strength of its coaches in Punjab and other states.Punjab Sports Director Padam Shree Pargat Singh, a man from the field, convinced the state government the immediate need to strengthen the coaching department. He systematically followed the procedure and achieved his objective to have sufficient number of coaches at his disposal. The Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, young Member of Parliament Sukhbir Singh Badal, Sports Minister Gulzar Singh Ranike, Secretary Sports RS Pawar and other officials understood the requirement and the year brought cheers among the trainees as the Government gave green light to the appointment of 169 coaches and the supporting staff. The coaches have been deputed at coaching centres.
It was a big achievement of the Punjab Sports Department which is looking for a bright tomorrow for sportspersons. Among those appointed coaches on contract includes international volleyball player Chanchal and former international gymnast Manjit Singh. They are both retired Commandant in Border Security Force.
HOCKEY CLINIC UNDER FIH COACH SHIV JAGDAY: The former Indian captain and coach Pargat Singh was also instrumental in roping in International Hockey Federation (FIH) Grade I coach Canadian Shiv Jagday’s for a two-week hockey clinic from June 6 to 12 at the Olympian Surjit Hockey Stadium in Jalandhar.
Physical fitness, sports psychology and hockey were the three main parts of the well-attended clinic. Mohinder Singh Dhillon of Sports Authority of India looked after the physical fitness aspect while Dr Jyoti Kantikar of Pune dealt on psychology. Shiv Jagdey’s focus was on technical and tactical aspects of hockey.
Former coach of the Indian team Jagmohan Singh worked on the specific exercises required for a hockey player. Dhillon taught complete warm-up exercise, ABC speed, core strength development, basic and advance strength, endurance, speed, aerobics, explosive strength and agility. The Sports Department has documented the practical sessions and DVDs were distributed among the coaches. Former Indian coach Sukhvir Singh Grewal played an important role as a coordinator.
On the invitation of Pargat Singh, Australian legendary hockey coach Richard Charlesworth also educated the coaches and the players for two days. Charlesworth noticed lack of mobility among the players; not creating space and running without scanning the field.
More than 250 hockey trainees from all coaching centres of Punjab, and hockey academies of Spring Dales, Amritsar, Khalsa College, Amritsar, Surjit Hockey Academy of Jalandhar, Malwa Khalsa School, Ludhiana and Anne’s Academy, Sector 69 Mohali and 55 coaches, including nine from the Sports Department and Punjab Police officials on deputation to the Punjab Sports Department, were benefited from the clinic.
Olympians Rajpal Singh, Prabhjot Singh, internationals Jagdeep Singh Gill, Ripudaman and Davinder Kumar also attended the clinic.
SIX SIX-A-SIDE- ASTROTURFS: The year was also profitable for budding players. As many as 3000 players in different sports disciplines were shortlisted after trials to be admitted in 250 sports wings in schools and colleges throughout the state.
Decision to lay six six-a-side astro hockey turfs has been also taken. Sansarpur, earlier known as hockey nursery of India will soon have a six-a-side hockey turf. Talwandi Saboo will also boast of a six-a-side astroturf. The synthetic hockey turf of the Olympian Surjit Hockey Stadium will be replaced. The process of laying synthetic turfs has already started.
SPORTS KITS DISTRIBUTED AMONG 12,000: Member Parliament Sukhbir Badal also distributed sports equipment worth Rs 75 lakh among 12,000 trainees in Jalandhar on October 15. Trainees of hockey and football academies of the state were given complete sports kits. Punjab shooter Abhinav Bindra, who won the first individual gold for India in Beijing Olympics was given a cash award of Rs one crore.
MAHARAJA RANJIT SINGH AWARD: Applications have been invited for conferring the prestigious Maharaja Ranjit Singh Award. As many as 84 outstanding players in the last four years would be presented the highest state sports award which carries a purse of Rs one lakh, a citation and statute of Maharaja Ranjit Singh astride a horse.
SPORTS INFRASTRUCTURE IN VILLAGES. The Central Government has sanctioned Rs 12.5 crore to provide sports infrastructure in 14 blocks covering 1233 villages. The development will be in phased manner and completed in 10 years. The state government’s contribution will be 25 per cent of the Centre’s grant-in-aid.
An Open Stadium in Ranike (Amritsar) will be constructed at an initial cost of Rs 34 lakh. The Ranike Stadium will have an eight-lane grass track and other facilities.
The Department conducted a number of tournaments, from block level to national levels.More than 7000 players attended the summer coaching camps in May-June at district headquarters. The Punjab started in the right direction to once again become the sports arm of India.