Sanjeev Kotnala: Can Public-Private Participation work for TOKYO 2020?

31 Aug,2016

By Sanjeev Kotnala

 

There has been enough talk of 1.2 billion dejected people celebrating whiff of successes. The results do not take away from the efforts of the athletes. However, it does push each of us to introspection, as to what could be the key to these chronic highs and lows.

 

The Olympics is over and for a change. There have been low undercurrents of blame trading. Is it because the citizen of the country had resigned to the fate, or maybe they have realised that there is a narrow gap remaining to be bridged in a lot many sports?

 

We have been plagued by Leander and Bhupati’s hopefully last hurray, Narsingh Yadav court drama and disgraceful exit, the athlete who fainted, the non-officials officially taking the trip, non-specialist or wrong specialist doctors. Additionally all, the archers, shooters, badminton players not peaking at the right moment made it that much heart-breaking.

 

The government promising Sindhu a foreigner coach reeked of not only of a foreigner-is-best bias but also underselling the efforts of people like Gopichand, who flourished in spite of lack of push and support from the government. Read these comments as a crib around the paan corner in Indian markets by a common man.

 

The common man wants justice and pride. He or she is not worried about the blame games and the enquires. The faith is broken and the trust was lost many Olympics back. The country has long been addicted to limited success, so a 4th place; a semi’s defeat is celebrated with the same gusto.

 

Successes (medals) are the outcome, and that comes when you start refusing to accept anything less than it. It sounds stupid, but from 1.2 billion people, only participants who have real chance to make to finals and qualify should be considered for the event and not because they qualified a place. I know this is vague but promises a far better step than the irrelevant medical team sent by Indian Olympic Association.

 

As a tax-paying citizen, it seems ridiculous that the funds are invested and lost in the ministry, the unnecessary contingent bloating officials.

 

If India as a country (and not talking about the participants like Shobha De does) is no longer wanting to be again sleepwalk through these events, then it calls for certain disruption efforts much more imaginative than the TOP scheme. I personally suspect that a true genuine Public-Private Participation could help.

 

Some silly suggestions include:

THE CORPORATE OPPORTUNITIES. When government fails to work in an unbiased manner and create a system to deliver on its social responsibilities, the onus comes on the corporate and private parties to deliver it under the umbrella of Corporate Social Responsibility. Though winning medals cannot be considered CSR, but placing a smile of pride and the resultant confidence in the eyes of citizens of a country definitely should be considered CSR.

:: Support of identified prospects by corporate should be completely tax deductible. Consider Sports support, sponsorship, and promotion in certain way CSR subject and investments.

:: Let brands take on specific sports stars under tripartite agreements with government and fully work behind them. Legally ensure that for a predesignated periodthe winner is associated exclsuively with the brand that supported and invested in them, When brands are assured of better protected returns, their investments in sports will rise.

:: Build an Olympian framework, so that the so-called sudden well-wishers are not allowed to claim association by rewarding winners. Create some exclusivity even in honoring any Olympian.

:: Create a process where rewards are announced a year in advance by willing parties and are accepted within the framework.

 

LIFE OF A PARTICIPATING SPORTSPERSON

:: Work towards removing uncertainties from the life of a sportsperson.
:: Let brands freely invest in them so that at a certain level, they know that their devotion will result in lifelong support.
:: Create the fear against doping. Instead of doping just disqualifying, treat is equivalent to a crime against nation. As the nation loses much more than the sportspersons.

 

SPORTS COMMISSIONER MISSION. Create and appoint an SPORTS COMMISSIONER and give him or her a complete authority at par with EC of the SC. Associate this team’s future with disproportionate rewards on performance.

:: Kill or not the Olympic committee and the various bodies but decongest them of political involvement. Like cricket, get the professionals in, the regime period controlled, the conflict of interest checked and get as many past performer in the system as possible.
:: Delink politics, religion, film and cricket from this sport movement.
:: Get the trainers, the sportsman and the relevant body (comprising past Olympians) agreed upon. Ensure that the required support teams remain unchanged for the selected staff.
:: Create a project and be opening transparent before the nation on the milestones expected. Be supportive to one performing and drop the one who fails to move up the expected path. Engage the identified sports people on the process of heightened exposure. Give them the facilities and stage to train and perform and ruthlessly drop the non-performing.

 

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