Chandigarh, July 31:
To make Punjab the number one state in the country in the field of sports and to create a sports culture in the state, the Minister of Sports Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer announced new incentives for the sportsmen while releasing today the details of the new sports policy passed by the Cabinet led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann.
In the new sports policy of the State Government, the Sports Minister announced the gifts in the form of cash prizes, paving the way for awards for players as well as coaches and jobs for the players. Starting from the construction of sports nurseries, centers equipped with state-of-the-art facilities will be built in every village of the state. The minister was accompanied by Special Chief Secretary Saravjit Singh, Member of Expert committee MBS Punjab Sports University Patiala Vice Chancellor Lt Gen (Retd) JS Cheema, Dronacharya Awardee and Ex Chief National Boxing Coach Gurbaksh Singh Sandhu and Chandigarh University Director Sports Dr Raj Kumar Sharma.
Meet Hayer said that keeping in mind all age groups and physical fitness, playgrounds will be established at the village level looking at the local needs. There will be a provision of one time matching grant (maximum Rs. 10 lakh per village) of 25 percent of the total budget. There will be a battery test to evaluate the player’s ability. Similarly, 1000 cluster level sports nurseries with better coaching, sports equipment and refreshments will be established. At Rs. 25 lakh per nursery, it will have a total budget of Rs. 250 Crore. A district level sports structure with 200 sports hostels in each district is to be established to prepare sportspersons for National level competitions. There will be a total capacity of 5000 players across the state with a budget of Rs. 250 Crore. State level centers equipped with state-of-the-art facilities are to be established. Apart from Jalandhar, Mahilpur, Mohali, Patiala, Ludhiana, Bathinda and Amritsar, the district level structure is to be upgraded to state level.
Meet Hayer further said that the provision of 500 posts in the special cadre has been prepared for the best medal winning players including 40 deputy directors, 92 senior coaches, 138 coaches and 230 junior coaches. He said that compared to 2017 coaches in Haryana, there are only 309 coaches in Punjab and as per the new sports policy there is a proposal of 2360 coaches.
According to the new sports policy, in addition to the gradation list of 35 sports, there will also be grading of sports included in the Olympic, Asian and Commonwealth Games. Arrangements will be made to give the gradation certificate online. Sports achievements will be given 30 percent priority for recruitment of coaches and PTIs. New rules will be introduced to bring transparency and fairness in the selection of players under which expert coaches will be appointed as supervisors. A website will be created for the profile of the players. A dedicated YouTube channel will be started for live broadcasting of sports competitions.
Meet Hayer said that it was decided to increase the prize money of the Gold, Silver and Bronze medal winners of the Olympic Games to 2.25 Crore, Rs. 1.50 Crore and and Rs. 1 Crore to Rs. 3 Crore, Rs. 2 Crore and Rs. 1 Crore respectively. Earlier, about 25 sports and medal winners were getting cash prizes, while now the number has been increased to 80. In this regard, the New sports competitions include Special Olympics, Deaf Olympics, Para World Games (Rs. 75, 50 and 30 lakhs), Badminton’s Thomas Cup, Uber Cup, BWF World Tour Finals (Rs. 75, 50 and 40 lakhs), Tennis All Grand Slams (Rs. 75, 50 and 40 lakhs), Azlan Shah Hockey Cup (Rs. 75, 50 and 40 lakhs), Diamond League and recognized tournaments of internationally reputed organizations (Rs. 75, 50 and 40 lakhs), Deaf World Cup, Blind World Cup (60, 40 and 20 lakh rupees), Youth Olympic Games (50, 30 and 20 lakh rupees) etc. have been included.
Announcing the cash prize money for the first time for the preparation of international sports competitions, Meet Hayer said that Rs. 15 lakh will be given for Olympic Games and Paralympics. Similarly Rs. 8 lakh each for Deaf Olympics, Special Olympics, World Championship and World Cup (four years), Asian Games, Para Asian Games. and Deaf Asian Games, Commonwealth, Para and Deaf Commonwealth Games, World Games held after four years, Rs. 7 lakh for Special Olympics, Rs. 6 lakh for ICC World Cup, World Test Championship, Twenty 20 World Cup, Blind World Cup, Rs. 5 lakh for World Championship and Afro-Asian Games, Rs. 4 lakh for Youth Olympics, Asian and Commonwealth Championships, Rs. 3 lakh for SAF Games and SAFF Championship, Rs. 1 lakh each for World University Games, Youth Commonwealth Games, World Junior Games and Championship.
It has also been decided to start awards for the first time for coaches and promoters like players. Meet Hayer said that the coaches of Punjab will now get the Olympian Balbir Singh Senior Coach Award, which will include a prize money of Rs. 5 lakh, a trophy and a blazer. Similarly, Milkha Singh Award for Sports Promoters/Organization is being started for any private organization or individual promoting sports. The prize money will include Rs. 5 lakh, memento, blazer and certificate.
The Sports Minister said that Balbir Singh Senior Scholarship Scheme has been started for the first time to give monthly scholarship to the medal winners at the National level. Under this scheme, a scholarship of Rs. 16,000 will be given to the National Medalist at the senior level and a scholarship of Rs. 12,000 to the National Medalist at the junior level.
Meet Hayer further said that the Chief Minister decided to formulate a new sports policy after seeing the changes in sporting scenario in the past and many shortcomings in the previous sports policies. A committee of experts was formed by the sports department to formulate a new policy. Apart from Hockey Olympian Surinder Singh Sodhi and former DGP Rajdeep Singh Gill, NIS, SAI, Higher and School Education representatives were included in the committee. Suggestions were taken from the Punjab Para Sports Association and general public.