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Football Likely Focus As T Moots New Sports Policy | Hyderabad News – Times of India

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Hyderabad: Football will be the likely focus as the Telangana government looks to finalise a new sports policy.
That they want to go the way Odisha government adopted hockey is clear but whether Telangana will succeed in reaping the rewards of promoting football is a moot point. To begin with, Odisha has a large pool of hockey players at the grassroots level.
Though former players here are gung-ho about the proposal, the same can’t be said of football in Telangana except for some pockets in the city. Hyderabad was once the feeder line for Indian football. But it has been reduced to a pale shadow due to rampant politics.
A consultancy firm roped in to help formulate the policy studied the existing infrastructure, resources and talent available in the state before a draft policy was submitted to the cabinet sub-committee comprising IT minister KT Rama Rao, Sabitha Indra Reddy, Yerrabelli Dayakar Rao and Srinivas Goud.
But analysts and administrators TOI spoke to were clear in what they want from the policy: Infrastructure, coaches, sponsors and jobs for sportspersons. Infrastructure wise, city scores well on account of having hosted the Afro-Asian and National games in 2003-04. Stadiums are being built in districts too. The other three areas need careful consideration, though. Apart from cricket and badminton, there’s no sponsorship from corporates for other disciplines. Coaches are poorly paid. And jobs are hard to get. Many feel the 2% job reservation policy for sportspersons is not properly implemented.
A sports administrator involved in policy making told TOI that ISL team Hyderabad Football Club (HFC) has been approached to start an academy in Gajwel, the assembly constituency of chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, to tap talent.
A policy similar to Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) is also being considered. It will help identify talent early so that athletes can be groomed.
The government is also planning to get top coaches. As of now, there are only 130 coaches in the state. Of this, only 11 are regular coaches and six are into administration. The rest — 121 — are not regular coaches. Given the inadequacy, the state wants to train and use the services of 3000-odd Physical Education Teachers (PETs). Efforts are also on to recruit at least 10 coaches in different disciplines for each of the 119 assembly constituencies.

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