Discrimination in sports

The 13th edition of the South Asian Games (SAG) has completed successfully. Deepest gratitude to all the medalists, officials and team managers for handing over the highest number of medals ever in the SAG for Nepal. Multiple countries have been congratulating Nepal for its new record, and we sportspersons too are extremely glad of this achievement.

Indeed, this time, athletes contributed a lot for the SAG. Now, in return, it is the responsibility of the government to improve the sports sector. It has announced to honour the gold medalists with a   cash prize of Rs 9 lakhs, but the point is, how long will an athlete run with this amount of money? Until and unless all the three tiers of government (central, provincial and local level) work with a vision to improve the sports sector, our Nepali athletes will not be able to bag medals in the Asian Games and Olympics.

What did the government do in honour of the medalists? A city rally! But for an athlete, who toils day and night and fights to make the motherland proud, their victory should not be confined only to a cash honour and a city round.

If the nation really wants to develop sports, it should treat it as a mission. A motivating environment must be built in the nation by erecting quality sports infrastructure and facilities, otherwise it will hard to retain good sportspersons.

In respect to the historic win in the SAG, the government has honored the medalists with some cash prizes but has discriminated against the international judges, who played an important role in the successful completion of this SAG. In the 13th SAG, the organisers had accommodated all the guest judges from different countries well, but we international judges of the host country experienced the worst management in terms of accommodation and food. It’s a pity that we international judges have always been forced to use our own pocket money for referee seminars, refresher training and license renewals every year.

While the medalists were honoured with cash for their achievement, the international judges saw their allowance cut off by almost 50 per cent.

Such a frame of mind will not help motivate the officials to contribute their best for the upcoming events. It is extremely painful to see the misuse of power and politicisation of the Nepali sports sector. While our neighbouring countries allocate heavily to sports, Nepal spends just 0.015 per cent of the total budget on it.