Bhopal: The Centre plans to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Kingdom to avail the facility of good coaches, a top sports official said.

“We have a very good sports infrastructure, but in the absence of good qualified coaches and latest equipment, it is of no use to the country,” Sports Authority of India (SAI) Director General Jiji Thompson told reporters here yesterday.

Thompson also said that SAI would set up a National Institute for Sports Medicine to create world class physiotherapists and doctors in the field of sports.

“Despite very good sports infrastructure, India fails to win laurels in international sporting events, due to unavailability of good coaches,” he said.

At present, India have 1000 coaches but they have not upgraded themselves and unfortunately, the country doesn’t have voluntary coaches like in the United Kingdom.

Citing UK’s example, Thompson said that every year 25,000 coaches are trained in different sports, who later train sportspersons without taking any salary.

“Such people are usually from the field of medicine, journalism, engineering and even police officials, who impart training in nearby clubs free of cost, while in India coaching is seen as a means of employment,” he said.

On the issue of lack of latest sporting equipment, he blamed red-tapism for it and added that the fear of scrutiny of procurement process through tenders by constitutional bodies also prevents them from taking decisions.

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