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Zaigham stresses need for coaches academy


July 5, 2020

KARACHI: Former Asian Games silver medallist Zaigham Maseel on Saturday said that the country direly needs a “coaches academy” in order to widen the pool of home-grown coaches to prepare boxers at various levels.

“A proper coaches’ academy or institution should be developed for the purpose at national level under the federal government. Young, educated sportsmen and individuals, both male and female, should be encouraged to become sports coach, adviser and official,” Zaigham told ‘The News’ in a communication from Bahrain.

“Later it can be specified for different sports disciplines,” said Zaigham, who is also a former Pakistan boxing coach

“The coaches’ institution will be responsible to establish a curriculum to consider the current coaches’ weak points, especially punctuality, dedication, commitment, loyality, respect, sensible decisions, manner, ethical concerns, public dealing, dealing with players, time management, practical sports psychology, and counselling,” Zaigham said. “The institute will conduct sports’ education classes and inculcate these qualities among the coaches,” he added.

“The academy will help the nation build a big pool of qualified coaches and such officials as analysts, counsellors, announcers and motivational experts,” he pointed out.

“It is a fact that courage and confidence can’t be developed by a foreign coach because there are a lot of differences between two nations in their languages, cultures, behaviours and feelings,” he said.

“Besides, a big amount of money can be saved which is given to the foreign coaches in the shape of five-star facilities and their salaries,” Zaigham said.

He appreciated the statement of Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) official Azam Dar who told ‘The News’ the other day that the state would make an effort to enable federations to hire foreign coaches ahead of the 14th South Asian Games to be held in Pakistan in 2020-2021.

“I appreciate this. I know there is no other option at the moment but it needs to plan for future endeavours.

“Basically, our coaches do not have such sports knowledge or education which can attract our elite players. About 95 percent of our coaches are under matric, no one knows what research is, what analysis is. They can’t even draw boxing training plan. So, most of our coaches fail to train the teams. And our federations don’t have other option so they are running behind foreign coaches to plug the gap. It’s not only in boxing. All sports have this problem, and no one is trying to improve the weak points of our coaches,” Zaigham said.

“The developed countries know that coaches are the backbone of their sports system but our authorities do not realise this,” he said.

He said currently Pakistan needs foreign coaches. “Definitely, we require good coaches at this moment to develop strong teams and pull off good results, to deliver best training sessions, to give full psychological, moral and physical support to the players through counselling and different training sessions,” he elaborated.

“Unfortunately it seems that we don’t have deep studies of our sports. We always conduct trials and make mistakes and are not able to achieve the goals. We need to take steps for a permanent sports setup to compete at the international level,” Zaigham signed off.