29 November 2009

Government's role in sports

Whenever Nepali sports is in the gutters, many fans immediately point their fingers at the Government and call on it to do more to assist our national teams and athletes. I disagree. Nepal's government needs to focus on health and education - not any one sports team or elite athlete. That job is the responsibility of the sports associations, but as we know, most of the national sports association are either fast asleep or by a buffet table at a Five Star hotel near you. Therefore, I really get furious when sports associations make demands on the government. The irony is that the same people who ask for government support are the one's who constantly lecture that government should not interfere in sports.

It is great to see the Prime Minister take an interest in the sports sector and I am encouraged that he stated that a firm sports policy needs to be in place. My own policy recommendation would be to not give our sports association a single Rupee. Any money invested in sports by the government should only be allocated to grassroots participation initiatives or projects that help the social and economic well-being of the country, like a sports program that encourages health and exercise or one that promotes tourism to the country. Let the sports associations do their job, the government should not do it for them.