COVID19 Impact : Loss of Rs 30 crore to sports, 400 coaches become jobless

Ahmedabad : Corona has seriously affected sports like every other field. Sports like cricket, football, tennis, table tennis, badminton have been affected by corona. The damage done to the careers of many promising players cannot be measured in rupees. But the unemployment of hundreds of coaches in Gujarat and the loss to various sports academies is about Rs. 30 crores.

Cricket : Cricket is the most popular sport in Gujarat as well as in the rest of the country and the game, which had direct contact during the Corona era, has stalled at every level from practice to tournaments. A rough estimate of the damage done to cricket across the state is Rs. 12 crore.

According to Anil Patel, joint secretary of the Gujarat Cricket Association, about 2000 players from across the state are associated with the GCA. Apart from that, the number of players associated with private cricket academies in every major city of the state is around 8000. According to GCA Joint Secretary Anil Patel, there is zero cricket activity in the state at present. In addition to the 2000 players with GCA, there are 68 admin staff and 24 cricket staff. According to Anil Patel, each of these has been paid by the association till September.

However, the coaches or support staff of about 100 private cricket academies across the state are not so fortunate. The cricket academy has to pay the ground rent. In some cases maintenance is also required. Players are not found. More than 150 coaches have lost their jobs since most of the academies closed.

Badminton : The badminton sector is estimated to have lost Rs 1 crore. Mayur Parikh, secretary, Gujarat Badminton Association, said 1200 players were active in the game of badminton in the first state of corona. At present less than 10% i.e. barely 100 players are practicing with individual capacity.

As many as 150 coaches in 30-40 centers across the state have lost their jobs due to the closure of badminton courts.

Table Tennis : The game of table tennis in the state is estimated to lose Rs 1.5 crore during the Corona period. The game has been closed for 9 months and everything will be closed for the next three months. Kushal Sangatani, Joint-Secretary, Gujarat State Table Tennis Association, said that 1000 players were active in table tennis before March. That figure has now dropped to 200.

The picture of a private academy is even worse. There were about 50 private table tennis coaches in 12 to 13 major cities of the state like Valsad, Navsari, Surat, Rajkot etc., out of which only 50% are active. As many as 25 coaches have become unemployed.

Football : The craze for football in Gujarat has increased for some time. Corona is estimated to have caused losses of about Rs 6 crore to the game. Dinesh Nair, a former FIFA referee and current match commissioner, said: “The football association covers all the districts and all the academies and clubs under the district. 10,000 players up to the age of 19 have stopped playing. At present, barely 500 students are practicing. Children under the age of 14 have stopped playing.”

Tennis : Gujarat State Tennis Association Secretary Shrimal Bhatt said that before the arrival of Corona, 5000 players were active in Gujarat. At present, when minor activity is allowed, less than 25% of the players have started playing. Even now, all the tournaments are closed. Everyone’s motivation level is down. The top-10 academy has suffered a loss of Rs 1-1 lakh. 50 to 60 coaches have lost their jobs. The situation will remain the same until school-college becomes regular and tournaments are allowed.

If we add up the total loss to the tennis game, it is over Rs. 3 crores.

Chess : Corona has affected the game of chess at the strategy level. Bhavesh Patel, CEO, State Chess Association, said that there are 3000 active chess players in the state. These are players who have played at state, national, international level. Corona has affected their practice. They usually practice for 3 to 4 hours, but now in the online tournament, they can only play for 5 to 10 minutes.

People who teach physically have the most trouble. They usually charge 300 rupees an hour. But now they have no income.

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