New Delhi: The sports ministry on Monday cleared the name of shooting coach Ronak Pandit in the Indian Olympic Association’s list of non-athletes as part of the contingent for the upcoming Commonwealth Games. Also getting the nod were P.V. Sindhu’s mother Vijaya Pusarla and Saina Nehwal’s father Harvir Singh (both at no cost to government), as the IOA named a 325-member contingent of 221 athletes, 58 coaches, seven managers, 17 doctors/physiotherapists and 22 other officials.
The National Rifle Association of India and ace pistol shooter Heena Sidhu had slammed the sports ministry amid reports that it had called for dropping of 21 names, including that of her husband and coach Pandit.
Pandit, a former shooter, will now travel to the Games on “cost to government’s” (government taking care of his expenses like other technical specialists) as coach-cum-manager of the shooting team.
Not all the officials are, however, going to Gold Coast on government cost. The government will bear the cost of only 54 coaches, 16 doctors and physiotherapists and 19 other officials (89 in all), besides the 221 athletes.
The seven managers have also been cleared at no cost to the government and the federations will have to spend for them from their own pockets.