Indian shooting chief coach Jaspal Rana has claimed that they have to ensure that the young players remain grounded for couple of years to protect them from the lure of fame and money. He also stated that the issues are not on the field but going off field which could be a great loss to the nation.
Post the Rio Olympics debacle, India is witnessing a golden period for Shooting. With young talents like, Manu Bhaker, Anish Bhanwala, Saurabh Chaudhary and Tushar Mane bringing home the medals from the Buenos Aires Youth Olympics in Argentina, they have made sure India sees an Upward curve in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
With the reliable seniors, the younger ones are also bringing laurels home from Gold Coast CWG, Jakarta Asian Games and the Changwon World Championships.
The Indian Junior Shooting Chief Coaches, Jaspal Rana and Suma Shirur are basking in this success glory but have concerns which might destroy these youngsters career.
“I have been a coach for last 6-7 years now. I have seen a lot of kids coming and going just because we (read: the coaches, National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) and the government) can’t protect them from the distractions of life like fame, money and luxury. The biggest setback for me as a coach is that I lose a couple of good shooters every year because they were not on the right track. And I fear the same for Manu, Saurabh, Anish, or for that matter, every other promising junior shooter on the horizon,” Jaspal told TOI from Buenos Aires.
"It is really important to keep these shooters grounded and protect them from the lure of fame and money. I can’t blame the kids. Of course, they don’t understand that much. It’s the people around them who misguide them. Soon, they will be out of the team because of these distractions. And eventually, it’s the country loss. It’s the job of the federation and the government to keep the flock together,” said Jaspal
Jaspal stated concerns where big brands, sponsors, corporate houses and sports management firms signs these talents paying them hefty amounts for becoming their brand ambassadors. Also, adding to this amount by the State Government and the sports ministry, they are left with a little time for field practice from all the felicitations and award functions.
”Presently, Manu and Saurabh have been awarded Rs 3-5 crore each,” said Jaspal. According to rana, this is where the distraction hits them.
He also suggested a solution on it, saying “ I am not saying that don’t give them the money. But the companies, authorities and government have to understand they cannot give this money to kids straightaway. This money should go to their bank accounts and once they are 18 or 21, they can use it or, may be, can use the interest on that money. The people back home in India need to give these shooters some breathing space.”
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