New Weightlifting High-Performance Director endeavours to usher in transitional change

Pandoo, currently based in South Africa, would be looking to overhaul the grassroots programme.

Published: 28th April 2022 11:23 PM  |   Last Updated: 29th April 2022 07:50 AM   |  A+A-

Aveenash Pandoo . ( File Photo)

Aveenash Pandoo . ( File Photo)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: India needs a 'transitional change' and the new High-Performance Director (HPD) in weightlifting Aveenash Pandoo has been tasked to chalk out a programme that would take the country to the next level. 

The newly-appointed HPD was quietly seated in the back row observing the young talent going through their rituals on the platform during the Khelo India Youth Games on Wednesday. It was the last day of weightlifting but he had been a regular visitor at the Jain University campus venue in Kannakapura near Bengaluru. The competition offered him an opportunity to know more about young lifters and their abilities.

Pandoo, currently based in South Africa, would be looking to overhaul the grassroots programme. He would be closely working with coaches and other support staff to usher in a "transitional change".

"India would be looking for a huge paradigm shift in terms of its performance in the 2024 and 2028 Olympics with a new generation coming and my position here is to basically bridge the gap in terms of athletes' development, coaching education and so on," he said.

As for senior training, Pandoo said it's not part of his plan. "I am not involved with senior training. My contract is very clear I am not involved in coaching but I am the High-Performance Director and I would be monitoring the National Centre of Excellence (Sports Authority of India); monitoring coaches' education programme; some strategic planning for the coaches in terms of better coaching, better ability in helping the younger generation to achieve good success in the future."

In regards to 2024 and 2028, Pandoo said, the highest possible results are their target. "We would want the next generation to be in the national team and those athletes having potential take part in the Olympics and win medals for India and other international and world championships medals as well," he said.

When asked that India doesn't have a good reputation when it comes to doping, he said "I don't say that India doesn't have a good reputation. I think the data is wrong. I think IWLF has been doing a lot of work in regard to athletes' education. India have cleaned up the sport and India is looking very positive."

In 2028 weightlifting is not part of the Olympics programme, but Pandoo felt it would be soon. "It's not part of the 2028 Olympics but it is under revision," he said. "Being a member of the coaching and research committee of the international federation we are doing a lot of work to clean up and having a clean representation. I am sure it is going to come back again."

On whether it can be a popular mass sport he said there is potential. "It was part of the initial Olympic programme and it is one of the key sport in the Olympics and here to stay."

In the past month-and-a-half, he had seen the potential. "So far my interaction had been very positive with the coaches, officials of the different NCOEs, and different federation officials. I am looking forward to working with them and bringing in some changes, giving them some of my support and working together for the betterment of the sport in India."


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