plugs in straight holes
Well done minister of sports! It seems that you have got your act
together and finally got down to business and intent on going ahead,
taking some steps which you should have taken many moons before.
However better late than never.
point to have in mind is that this exercise should not be a witch-hunt,
but a determined effort to weed out the crooked plugs in straight
holes. When one sits back and thinks-- Is cricket the only sport
administration that is arguably mismanaged and all the other sports
administrations are functioning smoothly? Is it right? Aren't there
sports bodies which have built huge administrative complexes on
government owned land and employed people paying huge salaries and
have as members many persons holding top posts in Asian and World
bodies? But the poor game here is not on par even with a middle
level club in India.
accusations imply that the administrators willingly keep the levels
of these sports down well below par so that the given sport will
be out of the media limelight so that what happens at the top is
never probed and the administrators carry on regardless.
instance take the game of hockey where Sri Lanka (should we call
it Ceylon as it was in that era) were second to none in the region
and the Asians ruled the roost in that sport in the late 1950's
and in the early 60's. But, what has happened today? Can Sri Lanka
get anywhere near the reigning standards? The club tournaments are
still going on but the standards have plummeted drastically. In
short does Sri Lanka have a national hockey team? When did Sri Lanka
play an international ( between Sri Lanka and another country )
last? Can any one let us know. There are so many other sports that
fall into this category.
in 1973 Sri Lanka produced its first world champion in Billiards.
What has happened to that game today in this country? Then one takes
stock of rugby in countries like China where the game is developing
at a hectic pace, but, poor Sri Lanka who were the the runners-up
of the Asia Cup a little over a decade ago is out of contention
now and is running backwards with forward passes.
is responsible for this state of affairs? Has the ministry of sports
ever thought of probing into the circumstances that has led these
sports to go down into these appalling depths?
other day the minister gazetted some additions to the existing sports
law about the eligibility of persons holding office. But at the
same time another gaping hole was left out wittingly or unwittingly.
Is the minister aware of the ongoing musical chairs system that
is prevalent in sports bodies? Now the present custom is that one
becomes the president of an association or a sports body and waits
for two years, then hands it over to a puppet and comes down as
a vice president for a year or so. Then slap bang, he comes back
as president! So as long as he lives he becomes the deciding factor
of the given sport.
do this they have to plan their way through. A lot of spade-work
has to go in. The representatives of all affiliated bodies of that
given sport has to be bought over and kept happy. For that certain
perks have to be given to certain individuals. These can come in
many ways, shapes and sizes.
what happens? The monies that has to be spent on the improvement
of the sport goes towards the individuals and the exercise is to
keep their henchmen happy and not ask awkward questions.
a result deals creep into the administration and all kinds of misdeeds
take place in sports. Then without the knowledge of the people involved
at the top, the standards of the sport keeps on dwindling and when
they realize that the cookie is crumbling it is far too late.
can't the law be changed so that a person can hold the post of president
for only one term and may be with the blessings of the minister
get one more extension. And that's that. Thereafter no more extensions
and no more coming back as vice president and mark time.
a person really wants to help a sport he or she can serve the sport
in the capacity of IPP, PP, vice patron, patron or may be just an
individual who really wants to do some good.
parting I like to share something that I happened to stumble upon
-- some words of wisdom from the parting Indian coach John Wright
talking about India said "I love this place. Cricket is passion
here, unlike New Zealand, where cricket has only a few takers".
Then commenting on getting on to the commentary box he added "On,
I wouldn't do that for the sake of money. I already have a lot of
money. I just don't like it".
many people in Sri Lanka who want to help the sport they love and
spend years in given associations would say that?
Minister, it seems you are on the right track just now -- go, clean
the cob-webs and you will be remembered as the person who brought
about the change for a long time more to come.