New Delhi, July 2 (IANS) The Sports Authority of India (SAI) on Thursday announced that contracts of all foreign coaches will be extended till September 30, 2021 due to the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics to next year. Additionally, it also said that contracts for new foreign coaches will henceforth last four years.
“The 4-year contract of coaches will be given on the basis of the performance of a coach and recommendation from the respective NSFs (National Sports Federation). The contracts, though for 4 years, will be reviewed annually and extended on the basis of a coach’s overall performance, indicated by the performance of athletes in major international events,” said SAI in its statement.
“Meanwhile, in view of the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to next year, the contract of all foreign coaches will be extended till September 30, 2021.”
The contracts of a majority of foreign coaches were initially scheduled to end on August 31, 2020, in alignment with the original dates for the Tokyo Olympics which were to be held from July 24 to August 9 this year. However, the circumstances created by the spread of the coronavirus pandemic led to the Olympics being postponed to next year. It is now scheduled to be held from July 23 to August 8, 2021.
“Coaches are the backbone of the sporting ecosystem of any country and ensuring the right coaching for our elite athletes is a vital step towards improving India’s chances in all major international tournaments, including the Olympics,” said Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju. “This decision is part of India’s long-term roadmap for Olympic preparation for 2024 and 2028. I am confident our athletes will benefit from this.”
SAI also said that contracts of any new foreign coaches henceforth will also last four years.
Indian Olympic Association President Narinder Batra said that he welcomed the decision made by the Sports Ministry and SAI. “At a recent meeting with the honourable Sports Minister, representatives of various NSFs had raised this issue and requested for longer contract periods for foreign coaches,” said Batra.
“This decision will help athletes in a big way, especially during this time when they have had to go on a forced break for a few months. The existing coaches know these athletes and will build them up.
“Frequent changing of coaches means that an athlete has to adjust to the temperament of the new coach and vice-versa. This often hampers the level of performance. This decision is also sure to have a positive impact on the Asian Games in 2022 and the World Championships that we have in 2023, leading up to the Olympics in 2024. The continuity of coaches will surely improve the performance of athletes and ensure more medals for India.”