CHENNAI: With an eye on the 2024 and 2028 Olympics, the sports ministry has decided to draw up four-year contracts for foreign and Indian coaches in alignment with the Olympic cycle. The four-year contract will be given on the basis of the performance of a coach and recommendation from the respective national sports federations (NSFs).
The contracts, though for four 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.
"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," said Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju. “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," opined Rijiju.
Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narinder Batra welcomed the move saying continuity of coaches will surely improve the performance of athletes and ensure more medals for the country. "At a recent meeting with the sports minister, representatives of various NSFs had raised this issue and requested for longer contract periods for foreign coaches. 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,” said Batra.
Adding further, the IOA chief said, “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 2022 Asian Games and the World Championships that we have in 2023, leading up to the Olympics next year.”
Meanwhile, in view of the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to next year, the contract of all foreign coaches will be extended till September 30, 2021.