Chandigarh: The Punjab Olympic Association today honoured the Health Minister, Punjab, Brahm Mohindra and Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi here today at the Punjab Olympic Bhawan, Phase-9 during a function. On the occasion, the Secretary General of the Association Raja K.S. Sidhu said that it is a matter of great pride for the Punjab Olympic Association that the Vice-President of the association Brahm Mohindra and eminent shooter of international repute Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi have been made cabinet ministers in the Punjab Government. He further said that with such persons of proven standing the interests of the players were sure to be fully safeguarded and these ministers would be the voice of the players in the state cabinet.
Earlier, the President of the association and Rajya Sabha MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa said that irrespective of the government of any party in Punjab, the Punjab Olympic Association has always cooperated with the government and not let the politics make inroads into the sporting sphere. He said that today the association has honoured both the ministers specially as part of the members of the sports family.
The Health Minister Brahm Mohindra while thanking the association said that he is elated to be with his extended family today and the government as well as the association would join hands so as to bring Punjab back on top of the sporting arena.
Speaking on the occasion, Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi said that a comprehensive and all encompassing sports policy is on the anvil in Punjab which would have the training of players with state of the art equipments, cash prizes and the jobs and the categorization of players into ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ categories as the key characteristics. Divulging more, Rana Sodhi said that the ‘Maharaja Ranjit Singh Awards’ which have not been awarded since long would be revived soon with increased prize money. These awards would be made annual feature. Furthermore, awards for coaches would also be started. This has been planned to keep up the morale of the players of the state performing exceedingly well at the State, National and International level.
On the issue of the funds for the sports associations of Punjab, the minister said that it is a very significant issue which demands to be looked into very minutely. He further said that soon, he would hold a meeting with all the sports associations on this vexed issue.
The minister also said that those sports associations in the state which have not held their organizational polls must do so at the earliest as funds would only be provided to the associations who have duly elected office bearers.
Touching another important aspect, Rana Sodhi said that it is the sincere endeavour of the state government to pull out all stops to provide every facility to the players with specialized attention being devoted to their training, and nutritious diet. He also reiterated that the Punjab Government is fully committed to making the name of Punjab echo again in the national and international sporting arena. He also said that the sports and the education departments would work together to nurture talent of school children in sports and focusing on the school games, a new generation of talented players would be readied.
On the occasion, the Senior Vice President of the Punjab Olympic Association Rajdeep Singh Gill demanded from the sports minister that the players winning laurels for state at national and international level be given regular jobs by forming categories in ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’ as per their position. He also placed a demand that apart from the police, the players should be given jobs in other departments and boards/corporations. The minister assured to keep these aspects under consideration while framing the sports policy.