Swimming Fed say no to contentious Sports Bill

Ranchi: The Swimming Federation of India (SFI) on Saturday rejected contentious provisions in the National Sports Development Bill, claiming that administrators could manage better than sports persons.

"I don`t agree with these points. Sports and administration should remain separate," SFI Secretary-General Kamlesh Senapati said here.

He was replying to a query on veteran sports persons pitching for the contentious points in the bill including the provision on bringing all National Sports Federations under the RTI ambit and limiting the age, tenure of office-bearers and 25 per cent representation of sports persons in the sports bodies.

Instead, Senapati expressed sympathy for swimmers mostly footing their own bills to participate in international competitions.

"We are not getting clearances from government. We have to spend money on our won. The government sanctions USD 5000 per month to get a foreign coach. They demand not less than USD 10,000," he said.

Praising the current pair of swimming coaches, Pradeep Kumar and N Ameen, Senapati said for the last 10 years Indian swimmers had made significant improvement at international level.

"The swimmers won medals in the Asian group competitions in Indonesia and after 24 years Veerdhaval Khade won a bronze in the Asian Games. Our swimmers can do better if they get more exposure in foreign competitions," he added.

Expressing delight at Sandeep Sejwal and Khade qualifying for Olympics, Senapati was optimistic about Rehan Poncha, Saurabh Sangvekar and Aaron Agnel D`Souza making it to the London games next year.

"Swimming standard is continuously going up, and you can see how records are falling every day during this championship," Senapati, who is here for the 65th Senior National Aquatics Championships, said.


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