‘No money to send shooters abroad for training’February 29th, 2008 - 9:33 pm ICT by admin
New Delhi, Feb 29 (IANS) If the country is looking to the shooters to win medals at the Beijing Olympics, then the budgetary allocation for sports is not enough to send them for quality training overseas, feels National Rifle Association of India Secretary Baljit Singh. Finance Minister P. Chidambaram in his union budget Friday allocated Rs.1,111.81 crore (Rs.11.12 billion/$280 million) as total sports budget for 2008-09, an overall raise of Rs.254.34 crore (2.54 billion) over last year, with a special provision of Rs.624 crore (6.2 billion/$156 million) for the preparations for 2010 Commonwealth Games here.
Singh told IANS that the allocation would hardly leave anything for training and exposure trips of athletes.
“This being an Olympic year we have to send our shooters abroad for training. Apart from that we also have to appoint a foreign coach,” Singh told IANS.
“If the government expect medals from athletes then they have to spend money,” he said.
Shooting is India’s best bet at the Olympics with Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore winning silver at the Athens Olympics. Nine shooters have already qualified for the Beijing Games and yet, Singh said, the federation is running from pillar to post for import of ammunition.
“We have high hopes that shooting can fetch us medals. In the 2010 Commonwealth Games, we are confident of bagging more than 22 medals provided shooting is treated properly and all our demands are met.”
“We still haven’t got the licences to import ammunition. If the shooters don’t have ammunition how will they prepare,” Singh asked.
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