SAI urges Sports Min to address dietary problems of athletes

New Delhi: With emphasis on 2012 London Olympics, the Sports Authority of India has submitted a proposal to the Sports Ministry urging it to address the travelling and dietary problems faced by the Indian athletes while training and competing in international events abroad.

SAI Director General Desh Deepak Verma while interacting with the national campers and officials of the National Sports Federations (NSFs) observed that the athletes are not getting proper rest prior to their participation in international competitions.

 SAI urges Sports Min to address dietary problems of athletes

Sportspersons specially in power events such as boxing, weightlifting and wrestling don't get healthy Indian food to their taste while competing and training abroad. Adnan Abidi/Reuters

It has also been noted that sportspersons specially in power events such as boxing, weightlifting and wrestling don't get healthy Indian food to their taste while competing and training abroad.

Keeping in mind these problems faced by the athletes, SAI came up with some recommendations to the Sports Ministry for consideration and to call a meeting under the chairmanship of the Sports Minister wherein secretary External Affairs may also be invited.

Suggestions include — wherever the journey is more than eight hours, Indian teams may be allowed to travel three days prior to the event instead of two days as in the existing guidelines.

To overcome the food problem, Indian embassies may be asked through the Ministry of External Affairs to arrange Indian food from the nearest Indian restaurant to the hotel where Indian teams are staying.

"Generally, most of our athletes are vegetarian and they are provided with non-vegetarian food which they don't eat. Also the vegetarian food they are provided with is not of proper quality and taste. That affects the performance of our athletes while participating in international events abroad," a senior SAI official told PTI.

"Also an athlete needs proper rest before competing in any international event. Arriving early in a country will also help the athlete to acclimatise to the new environment.

"Keeping all these issues in mind, we have sent a proposal to the Sports Ministry for their consideration. If the ministry gives its approval, it will help our athletes prepare better for the events. Our major emphasis is on the Power Games which need weight to be lost or gained," added the official.

While participating in international competitions, many of the athletes in sports like weightlifting, wrestling and swimming have to compete in a series of categories. Many
involve multiple games or finals on the same day making the task challenging enough for the athletes.

To prepare and deliver in such conditions, one needs to consider the proper rest and nutritional aspect seriously to be able to deliver 100 percent.

"It is essential that things are put in place to minimise the impact of travel on an athlete and look at his nutritional requirements," the official said.

PTI

Updated Date: Sep 15, 2011 15:32:08 IST