Sports Minister Shri Sarbananda Sonowal was the Chief Guest at the Graduation Ceremony of 32nd Diploma Course conducted by the Eastern Centre of Sports Authority of India, Kolkata for Sports Coaching. Here is the full Text of Minister’s Speech at the Ceremony. “It is a matter of great pleasure for me to be present at this Graduation Ceremony of the Diploma Course in Sports Coaching, when a group of young sportspersons would be joining the ranks of sports coaches. The Diploma Course being the basic qualification for becoming a full-fledged coach, it is the main-stay of the coach education programme of SAI; and also the main-stay of our sports coaching programmes, because coaches are the backbone of sports programmes.
I have been told that through this 32nd Diploma Course conducted by the Eastern Centre of SAI, the academic sub-centre of Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports, 69 sportspersons have qualified as coaches, in five sports disciplines. For those who are passing out to-day, it is a great day. You are to-day entering into a very respected profession. A coach is a sports teacher; and teaching has occupied a place of esteem in every era of civilization, in which cultural advances have been made. Teaching and coaching has been recognised as one of the traditional field of service to humanity.
The academic system of any field of life, be it engineering, medicine or even sports, is the backbone of that field. The strengths and weaknesses of this field are the direct result of the strength and weakness of the contents and structure of its academic system. So, the academic wing of SAI has a great responsibility; and being the sub-centre of this wing, the SAI Eastern Centre, Kolkata, also shares this responsibility.
Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports, the academic wing of SAI has been performing its tasks with great zeal for the last half-a-century; and whatever we have achieved in the field of sports, to this day, bears the stamp of the academic wing of SAI. Since its inauguration in 1983, the Kolkata Centre has also made considerable contribution in the field of sports, in this part of the Country Through the coaching and training of elite sportspersons, NIS Patiala and Eastern Centre, Kolkata have made significant contribution to the Indian medal tally at the international sports competitions.
However, the wheel of sports, in the international arena, is moving very fast; and the scientific and technological inputs have turned sports into a very specialised field.
The development of sports has now been made an integral programme of the new education policy and Sports Authority of India has a big role to play in the promotion of sports in the Country.
I have been told that the curriculum and syllabus of this education programme are of international standard and every care is being taken to keep it up-to-date. I am pleased to learn the collaboration of the leading international sports institutions is being secured in order to keep pace with the global advances, in sports education.
I have also been told that NIS has introduced a Skill Development Programme for sportspersons, coaches and scientists and some such short duration training programmes have already been conducted. The Kolkata Centre has already conducted these Skill Development Courses. I wish them success in this venture.
I also take this opportunity to congratulate the management of the Centre and its teaching Faculty for the successful completion of this education programme; and I also congratulate the students, who have become Coaches to-day. This Diploma in your hands puts a great responsibility on your shoulders. You have to undertake the challenging task of uplifting the standard of sports in the Country. Let coaching be not just a profession for you but a mission for keeping the Nation’s Flag flying high, in the international sports arena. I wish success in your life.”