Not funding enough coaches may hurt wrestlers' chances at Asian C'ships

For the participation of 72 members including 60 wrestlers, 10 coaches was approved at the cost to the government while 19 others including 8 coaches were approved at no cost to the government
If officials are to be believed, the presence of 10 coaches may be enough but it may not if three wrestlers from the country have bouts simultaneously on three separate mats.
If officials are to be believed, the presence of 10 coaches may be enough but it may not if three wrestlers from the country have bouts simultaneously on three separate mats.

CHENNAI: The U-17 and U-23 Asian Championships will begin at Amman, Jordan on Saturday with competition in the Greco-Roman style in the former age group. As many as 60 Indian wrestlers (30 each for U-17 and U-23) will vie for medals in the continental event scheduled to end on June 30. The U-17 competitions will be held from Saturday to June 24 while bouts in the U-23 age group will be held from June 27 to 30.

Both tournaments will begin with competition in the Greco-Roman category followed by women's wrestling and men's freestyle bouts.
While wrestlers from the country would obviously be aspiring for medals in the event, a few issues might prevent them from achieving their goals as not enough coaches and physiotherapists have been accorded administrative sanction — to be more precise at the cost to the government.

As per the sanction issued by the TOPS division of the Sports Authority of India (SAI), participation of 72 members including 60 wrestlers, 10 coaches and two physiotherapists (both women) was approved at the cost to the government while 19 others including eight coaches, six referees, three physios were approved at no cost to the government.

If officials are to be believed, the presence of 10 coaches may be enough but it may not if three wrestlers from the country have bouts simultaneously on three separate mats. More importantly, wrestlers and officials from different styles are scheduled to reach the venue in batches and they are expected to leave once their competitions are over. This may further see a dip in the strength of coaches impacting the participation of Indian wrestlers in upcoming bouts.

As per the rules of conduct in the UWW events and Olympic Games, a participating wrestler walk onto the mat with his/her coach. Besides, an active wrestler may take on the role of coach if several wrestlers of the same nationality are competing simultaneously but the athlete concerned has to respect the requirements in entirety, even those concerning dress.
"This is why the federation has requested three coaches for each style in two age groups taking the total number of coaches to 18. Out of them, only 10 have been approved at the cost to the government. Now, the federation has to fund the remaining coaches," a Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) source told this daily.

Apart from managing the affairs on the sidelines of the mat, coaches also oversee activities at the warm-up area and training hall. It can further complicate the situation.

"Besides, only two women physios have been funded by the government. How can these two women physios cater to the needs of 60 wrestlers? Three more physios, whom the WFI has recommended, would come in handy here but now the federation has to bear their cost," added the source.
 
Overlooking referees
Interestingly, none of the referees' trips was sanctioned at the cost to the government even though a national federation is bound to send the officials. The NSF has to pay a fee of 2000 Swiss francs if it doesn't conform to the rule.

As per general regulations for championships and international competitions, the participating Federations can present three referees, if they are qualified and of the authorized category, per mat, for Continental Championships.

"Any NSF that does not conform to the above schedule regarding the number of judges/referees is liable to pay the fee laid down in the Financial Regulations, provided that it has judges/referees in the category concerned who have been qualified," reads the regulations.

"Not funding referees can not only impact performances of the wrestlers as their presence ensures absolute fairness but it can hurt the WFI financially," opined the source.

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