Telangana Government will soon come out with a new sports policy which could be the best in India in terms of encouraging everyone from coaches to athletes to physical education teachers, according to Deputy Chief Minister Kadiam Srihari.
Speaking at the felicitation function organised by Telangana Athletes Welfare Society under the stewardship of former national champion athlete P. Shankar in honour of athletics coach Nagapuri Ramesh and the chief national badminton coach Pullela Gopi Chand at Fateh Maidan Indoor Stadium, Mr. Srihari said it was a privilege to be present to honour a true Telangana son – Ramesh. “I didn’t know him till I read his name as one of the recipients of Dronacharya Award recently. Entire Telangana is proud of him being the first Dronacharya in the newly formed State,” Srihari remarked. “We have all seen how Gopi from his Academy has been producing champions with the kind of commitment which is adorable. It is a fact that sports has been neglected for long both by the Central and the State governments and that is the reason we are not producing too many Olympic medallists,” the Deputy Chief Minister said.
“Yes, there have to be lot of sacrifices by all involved in the sports – including officials, athletes and coaches – to produce champions. Keeping in view the needs and aspirations of the sports fraternity, the State Government is in the process of drafting a new sports policy which should usher in a new era,” Mr. Srihari remarked.
Replying to the felicitations, Ramesh recalled his journey from the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Warangal when he had to stop dreaming big in athletics because of an injury and focus on coaching.
“I am fortunate to be blessed by all the seniors in my formative days and later to have worked with the likes of VVS Laxman, Gopi, Mukesh Kumar. My stint in the then AP Sports School in Hakimpet near here helped me producing quality athletes like Shankar, Sathi Geetha, Samaiah, Mrudula to name a few,” he said. “But, I must say the results were possible because of the hard work they had put in,” he added. “My only plea to the State Government is to recognise the efforts and services of the coaches from the junior grade level to encourage them to dream big and produce results on bigger stages,” Ramesh remarked. “The other key segment is PETs who should be given a new different direction and made to play a lead role in shaping young talent from school level,” he said.
Gopi, who was also felicitated, said he was really glad that Ramesh got the Dronacharya Award. “I wish there are many more coaches like him in all disciplines,” he said.