The raging pandemic has severely affected every field including sports. Coaches all over India particularly those who are into the indoor sports are the worst affected lot as the Government is yet to give a green signal for the opening of indoor halls.
Hundreds of coaches and their dependents have been going through a tough time for the last six months due to extended lockdown. Although the Government has given relaxation in some of the activities during the graded unlock process, it seems reopening of indoor sports is the last priority on their agenda.
Lack of proper organization or non-existence of any registered body of coaches has added to their woes as they are not able to put forward their demands unitedly.
After a long wait in anticipation of approval for the indoor sports activities, around two hundred badminton coaches have finally come together to fight for their cause as one united front. Nearly 200 coaches from across Maharashtra have signed a petition demanding the resumption of badminton practice.
They have sent the letter to all those who matter including Prime Minister Narendra Modi. All the badminton coaches of Maharashtra have also forwarded the letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, State sports minister Sunil Kedar, MBA president Arun Lakhani and Badminton Association of India (BAI) president Himanta Biswa Sarma.
The secretary (tournaments) of the Maharashtra Badminton Association (MBA) Mangesh Kashikar has personally handed over the memorandum to MBA president Arun Lakhani at his residence here on Saturday.
Nagpurâ€™s senior badminton coaches Jayendra Dhole and Nikhil Rokde along with others coordinated and ensured the mass participation of State coaches in signing the memorandum.
The letter states that the coaches will follow the instructions and guidelines of the Government authorities in view of the ravaging Covid-19 situation.
â€œOur livelihood is completely dependent on coaching. With the lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic and closure of all indoor sporting activities, we are in a very sorry state of affairs. With the sixth month of lockdown in progress, we are monetarily badly hit. Various schemes and amenities have been announced by the government but none of these have made any difference in our current position,â€ reads the letter.
â€œIf allowed we plan to start with a limited number of players following all the social distancing norms and guidelines given by the government. We will strictly follow the Standard Operating Procedures of the sports ministry,â€ adds the letter.
Kashikar, who is also the secretary of the Nagpur District Badminton Association, is hopeful of some solution in the days to come provided the Covid-19 situation subsidises.
â€œSome of the coaches of the city met me and handed over the letter to me. Immediately I fixed the appointment with our MBA president Arun Lakhani and gave him the letter. He promised to address the issue of grieved coaches and will speak with the government authorities for the resumption of badminton activities in the entire state,â€ said Kashikar.