(HOLD) Goa’s two top swimmers may quit stateBy IANS
Saturday, May 23, 2009
PANAJI - Two of Goa’s top swimmers are likely to relocate, thanks to the inability of the state government to implement its sports policy, the Goa Swimming Association (GSA) said Saturday.
Ironically, Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat heads the GSA.
Speaking to reporters here, GSA vice president Vinay Borkar said that state’s top swimmer Talasha Prabhu and leading diver Sushmeeta Vasta were looking at moving out of the state for want of better facilities.
Borkar said the implementation of the long-pending sports policy could gave prevented the swimmers from moving out of the state.
“We have been begging the state government to implement its sports policy for years now. If we lose Talasha and Sushmeeta, Goa will be losing valuable assets, all because we lack a comprehensive sports facility to look after our sportspersons,” Borkar said.
Borkar said that Talasha, who had just returned from a training stint at a high performance training centre at Pretoria, was keen on shifting to a Bangalore educational institution to avail of sports grants and educational concessions that could help further her career.
“She is one of our finest assets. We feel sorry to let her go, only because we lack something as basic as a sports policy,” Borkar said of the swimmer who has won gold medals in nationals and an international gold in the sub-junior category recently.
Sushmeeta, who has emerged as one of the most promising divers in the state, with a clutch of medals in the one metre and three metre diving competitions might joining Indian Railways for a more secure career, Borkar said.
The Goa Olympic Association (GOA) has already demanded the sports policy be implemented by August, failing which it hs threatened to boycott the National Games.
Interestingly, GOA is headed by Goa Congress chief Subhash Shirodkar.
Goa Cricket Association president and Congress MLA Dayanand Narvekar has also demanded the prompt implementation of the sports policy. Narvekar had also cautioned that several young cricketers were leaving Goa, opting to play cricket for states and public sector undertakings due to the sense of insecurity caused by the lack of a sports policy.
Speaking to IANS, a state sports ministry official, said that while the draft sports policy had already been formulated by a high profile committee set up by the ministry, its financial implications had delayed its implementation.