Shooters should have been patient on coach appointment: Gill
The appointment of a Ukrainian coach by the shooters themselves has not gone down well with Sports Minister M S Gill.
New Delhi: The appointment of a Ukrainian coach by the shooters themselves has not gone down well with Sports Minister M S Gill who said they should have showed more patience but the marksmen argued they could not wait longer for things to happen.
Gill, however, said he has taken note of their demand and had asked his ministry officials to look into the matter.
“I wish people would have showed more patience. I have given direction to SAI Joint Secretary Pravir Krishn to sort the coach’s matter as early as possible,” the Sports Minister told reporters on the sidelines of the inauguration of Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges here.
“The foreign coaches have big demands. We had appointed three foreign coaches for shooting but they left the job after they were offered better money. So one can’t blame SAI or anyone for this.
“This was a little bit of exaggeration on the part of the shooters,” he added.
Sports Authority of India Joint Secretary Pravir Krishn, on his part said, they have pinpointed a new foreign coach and he would be appointed within a week.
“We will be appointing a new foreign coach within a week. We have already identified the person,” he said.
“We had earlier appointed three coaches but they left the job for their own reasons,” Krishn added.
Gill’s statement came after six top pistol shooters -- Samaresh Jung, Ronak Pandit, Amanpreet Singh, Heena Sidhu, Ruchit Kapadia and Upasana Parasrampuria -- miffed with NRAI’s functioning, hired renowned Ukrainian coach Anatoli Poddubni on their own expenses to train them at the National camp.
Even though their step has upset the Sports Minister, ace shooter Jung, who fetched seven medals including five gold in the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, said “necessity” forced them to take the step after their repeated appeals fell on deaf ears at the National Rifle Association of India.
“It is a case of necessity. We required a coach badly to train us at par with the best shooters of the world. We had that opportunity before our hand and we availed it rather then wait for the federation to wake up,” he said.
“Our last coach Czaba Gyorik of Hungary left just after the Beijing Olympics and till today no one has replaced him,” he added.
His views were supported by Athens Olympics silver medallist Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and country’s ace double trap shooter Mansher Singh, who feels its high time for NRAI to adopt a professional approach if the federation expect more medals in mega-events like Olympics.
“Had the government not been there, shooting would have died. On behalf of all the shooters I thank the government for its continuous support,” Rathore said.
Mansher feels the main problem lies in the management of the sport.
“We are winning medals because of talent. All the shooters are professionals but there is no professionalism in NRAI. The intent is lacking on part of the federation. It has done its job to a certain extent.
“What we need is a strong support system. We don’t have physiotherapist, masseurs with the national team like other countries. Indian shooters have achieved the world standard but until and unless a system is put in place, we can’t expect gold medals in Olympics,” he said.
Mansher said there is a dearth of quality shooting coaches in the world, who take up an assignment on a four-year basis.
“There are only handful of shooting coaches in the world to train a country like India and their tenure generally is Olympics to Olympics. If you don’t hire them at appropriate time, then you will find them occupied,” he said.