SAI extends the contracts of 32 foreign coaches till the Tokyo Olympics

Image Courtesy: Ingimage/AFP
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Sports Authority of India (SAI) has decided to lengthen the contracts of 32 foreign coaches until next year, so the athletes continue to receive their training uninterrupted until the Tokyo Olympics next year.

Image Courtesy: Ingimage/AFP

The novel Coronavirus pandemic caused the postponement of 2020 Olympics for the first time since the Second World War. Originally scheduled to take place between 24 July and 9 August this year, the Tokyo Olympics have now been pushed back a whole year.

Postponing the Olympics has been the reason of a huge disruption in the training schedule for the athletes of the country. Meanwhile, the contracts of the 32 foreign coaches in 11 disciplines were supposed to end this September.

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To ensure that the athletes can continue receiving mentorship under the same coaches, SAI has now extended all of their contracts until 30th September, 2021, well before the Olympic Games which will take place from 23rd July to 8th August, followed by the Paralympics which is scheduled from 24th August to 5th September next year.

“The postponement of Tokyo Olympics by a year makes it imperative that the same coaches be retained so that athletes are not disadvantaged in any way,” Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju worded in on the decision.

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“A new coach takes time to understand an athlete and the athlete needs time to understand the training process of a coach. We don’t have that kind of time now,” he added.

The interim extension of the coaches has come in the wake of Rijiju’s decision to hire both Indian and foreign national coaches for a period of at least four years or a full Olympic cycle.

“This decision is part of India’s long-term roadmap for Olympic preparation for 2024 and 2028. I am confident our athletes will benefit from this,” Rijiju said back in Early July, while also adding that the decision will be beneficial for both the 2022 Asian Games and the World Championships in 2023.

However, the four year contract will be reviewed annually by the respective NSFs, and any further extension will be taken into consideration on the basis of the performance of the coaches.

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