AIR spotlight summary on Task Force to prepare for Olympic games.
With India getting only two medals in the Rio Olympics, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the decision to set up a Task Force to prepare a comprehensive action plan for effective participation of Indian sports persons in the next three Olympic Games 2020, 2024 and 2028. It will prepare an overall strategy and plan for facilities like infrastructure, training and selection procedure.
What will the Task Force Do?
- Task Force will comprise members who are in house experts in sports as well as those from outside. The decision to set up the Task Force comes against the backdrop of India’s dismal performance in Rio Olympics as the country won only one Silver and one Bronze even after sending its biggest contingent of 118 athletes.
- Task force will be an umbrella body which will work to supervise and channelize the process like inducting the talent, training, facilitating through infrastructure and preparing for the next three Olympics.
- It is likely that experts from various fields who have a certain bearing of their expertise on sports can put their heads together. Task force should be given a clear mandate.
Reasons for poor performance at Olympics
- Several athletes have continued to complain about the coaching facilities and the lack of funds for training for the Olympics.
- The run-up to the Olympics was mired in mismanagement and red tape with most of the financial assistance coming only in the last eight months
- Most of our Athletes tend to focus on qualifying for Olympics and give their best during qualifying stage. Some may not be able to perform at their best in Olympics because their energy has been spent in getting through selection process and for some performing under pressure.
Need of the Hour
- What is needed is to change in the way we approach our sports administration, professionalise it, it should have minimum political interference, make it accountable, and make data available.
- We have an existing body like Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the Task force is an addition to it. What we need is streamlining and making things easier.
- The number of parks and grounds vanished in the last 20 years are alarming. There are no open grounds for children and there are number of schools coming up without proper playground. These issues should be looked up by Task force.
- Include other ministries like education ministry because children education is very important and Task force should see how sports at the school level can be improved, provide infrastructure facilities, and track their performance.
- Try and pick up talents from different corners of the country. What is happening is only those people who are able to afford to be sports persons are the privileged ones.
- There are so many government schemes existent, what is required is to keep track of an identified talent. The National database of talent must be updated on a regular basis so that it can be accessed at various administration levels. These persons should be trained and not let their talent to vanish.
- The decision to make a separate task force will only work for the betterment of the nation if it is an independent authority which is not answerable to the Sports Ministry as the latter have been criticised over their handling of the athletes in the recent past.
The Task force which is to be a long term plan spanning over the next 12 years, which is judiciously taken pragmatic decision which will not only put in place the aspects of facilities, training, selection, but should be creatively active with an immediate task of resolving, renovating, creating, consolidating the resources for the next first step towards 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo.