A strong and productive coaching pattern in India; one of the key features of AFI “2036 Olympic Games Roadmap” says Adille Sumariwalla

A strong and productive coaching system across the country is one of the key features of Athletics Federation of India “2036 Olympic Games Roadmap”, Adille Sumariwalla, president of AFI said on Saturday.

The day after 74 coaches successfully completed World Athletics Coaching Education Programme Level 1 Course held at Patiala’s National Institute of Sports (NIS) and KIIT University in Bhubaneswar, the AFI president said the national governing body in athletics in India was on track to have at least 10,000 Level 1 coaches in next five years.

“The emphasis is on having a good coaching system across the country as there are more than 600 districts,” the AFI president added. “Our goal is to have at least one Level 2 coach in each of the districts in the country.

Sumariwalla, who is one of the vice presidents at the World Athletics, applauded the support of all the stakeholders in smooth and successful conduct of the coaches’ course on a regular basis in India.

The coaching course is being conducted in coordination with World Athletics; Sports Authority of India (SAI) and support from REC Limited, he added.

“When the AFI initiated the World Athletics Coaching Education Programme in 2018 there were 47 Level I and 11 Level 2 coaches in India,” Sumariwalla added. “The numbers have grown now. Currently we have 1302 Level 1 and 249 Level 2 coaches.”

While the number of Pre-Level 1 coaches are 2700, he said.

The upcoming Level 2 coaching course for sprints and throws will start February 10 in Trivandrum. A total of 32 candidates have enrolled themselves for the week-long World Athletics Coaching Course.

Before the start of the World Athletics Coaching Course in India in 2018, the Indian athletics experts had to travel abroad to attend the coaching programme. “There were a limited number of seats for each nation. Few Indian coaches could attend the course to update their knowledge,” Sumariwalla said. “Now, we have courses being conducted on the home soil and it’s a big advantage for the Indian coaches.”

To have a structured coaching pattern at the grassroots level, said Sumariwalla will certainly strengthen the foundation of athletics in the country. “In the past it has been observed that a miniscule percentage of juniors graduated to the senior level. There have been several cases of either overtraining or early burnout,” he added. “In future we expect more juniors to move up the ladder and excel at the world stage.