SRFI opt against hiring full-time coaches; chooses ‘event-based’ coaching programme

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The National Squash Federation has decided against the appointment of a full-time foreign coach for the national team. Instead of that, the Indian governing body will hire names such as former world number one David Palmer for 'event-based’ coaching for budding young players across the country.

The national squash federation or SRFI has decided against the appointment of a permanent foreign coach. The Indian body has been unsuccessful in its efforts to find a foreign coach, which has been going on since the past year. As a result, they have opted against a full-time appointment altogether and will instead employ names like former world number one David Palmer as they shift to 'event-based' coaching.

Indian squash players have been training without a full-time foreign coach since the departure of Egyptian Achraf Karargui who left on a bitter note ahead of the 2018 Gold Coast CWG last April.

The Indian squad that travelled to Australia was made up of veterans like Joshna Chinappa, Saurav Ghosal and Dipika Pallikal. They still managed to return with two silver medals. Following that,  the Indian contingent bagged five medals that included a women's team silver at the 2018 Asian Games, which were held in Jakarta last August. 

"Instead of hiring full-time coaches, we have decided to hire experts on a short-term basis. For example, the players will get to train with David Palmer for a month ahead of the men's World Championship in Washington in December.

"We believe the event-based hiring of coaches will be more beneficial for our players. We have also approached renowned coach Amir Wagih for a camp ahead of the Asian Championships next month," national coach Cyrus Poncha told PTI on Tuesday.

The appointments of both Palmer and Wagih will need approval from the Sports Authority of India. Chinappa, currently 15th in the world rankings,  has said she is looking forward to working with the likes of Palmer, who won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games last year.

"Though I have my own coaching team in England, it will be great to work with a coach of Palmer's calibre during events. I have worked with him in the past and I am sure we all can learn something from him," Pallikal added.

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