Even after spending crore of rupees to establish swimming pool, the concerned authorities fail to produce professional swimmer, owing to ‘conflict of interest’ amongst J&K State Sports Council and J&K Swimming Association.
According to sources, the swimming pool established at an estimated cost of Rs 1.77 crore at MA Stadium was envisaged to cater to the local population of the state in order to produce professional swimmers.
“The higher officials in sports department were never interested in raising the standard of swimming in the state, as swimming remained highly confined to Jammu region due to weather condition in Kashmir,” said sources, “Owing to this regional disparity, the government did not give much heed to this sports and players associate with it remain unattended and at suffering end.”
The sources said that although after strong resentment from players in Jammu, the government took decision to establish swimming pool at MA stadium.
“The government three years back established swimming pool at MA Stadium and called for membership,” said sources, “Many players registered themselves with the hope of representing JK at National and International level, but till date the players have not attended a single regional level tournament and remained confined to practices only.”
“Over 550 players have registered themselves with J&K State Sports Council and are getting training in different sessions,” said sources, adding the unfortunate part is that ‘no player from Jammu has ever participated in any national tournament, due to lack of proper training and competitive environment’, said sources.
The sources said that owing to reluctance and conflict of interests amongst J&K State Sports Council and J&K Swimming Association, Swimming pool remained seasonal, thus affecting performance of the players.
Both the council and Swimming association have indulged into blame game, saying that the reluctant approach of other is affecting sports activities.
Wishing anonymity, senior official J&K Sports Council said, “The players every time complain about competition and future of this sport in Jammu and Kashmir.”
He said that owing to lethargic approach of the swimming association, they cannot respond to the queries of the players.
“At times we cannot respond to players, as members of swimming association are not interested in taking this sports to higher level,” he said and added owing to their approach, performance of players remain untapped.
When contacted Joint Secretary J&K State Sports Council-Shiv Kumar Sharma, he was unavailable for comments.
Meanwhile, talking to Newspoint, VK Saini, President J&K Swimming Association asserted that swimming association has already sent a team for national competition.
“We know our players will not perform as per their caliber, because they are not exposed to competitions more frequently,” said Saini, “The sports council is not cooperative and the players selected for competitions are purely on face value.”
He alleged that the sports council is taking undue advantage over swimming association, which is unacceptable to the coaches.
“Moreover, despite spending crore of rupees, this swimming pool does not meet the required criteria to train amateurs,” Saini said, “The council established this pool only for professionals, which will not come from outside, we have to train amateur swimmers to reach at professional level.”
Pertinently, recently Union Minister of State, Dr. Jatinder Singh had assured for indoor swimming pool but till date no initiative has taken place.