The Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports has extended the contract of 9 foreign coaches and support personnel, including High-Performance Director of athletics with an eye on the 2024 Olympics and Commonwealth, Asian Games 2022.
In July, the Ministry had decided to draw up extended contracts for foreign and Indian coaches in alignment with the Olympic cycle. This decision was taken by the Ministry with a focus on the 2024 and 2028 Olympics, and to ensure Olympic-bound athletes are able to train consistently with one coach and therefore work on improving their performance.
Speaking about the decision, Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Shri Kiren Rijiju said, “There is a well-defined roadmap ahead for our athletes as we eye the best of preparations for 2024 and 2028. This decision to extend the contract of the coaches will benefit our athletes as there will be a continuation of their training with the same coach. Coaches play the most vital part in moulding our athletes to reach the elite level and this also improves India’s chances in various major international events going ahead.”
Speaking about the decision, Olympian and Indian athletics legend Anju Bobby George said, “This is a very welcome move and will benefit athletes in a big way. In athletics, more than in other disciplines, techniques, and continuous training are very important, since the competition season is usually very long. Being with the same coach benefits an athlete because the coach can then predict how an athlete will react during competition and guide an athlete accordingly. With foreign coaches especially, communication is often an issue, and only if a coach trains an athlete long enough can they understand each other well and the athlete can draw out the best from the training. It is however very important that the performance of a coach is reviewed properly so as to get the best possible results.”
Their performance will be reviewed annually, indicated by the performance of athletes in major international events.