Audit Sports Equipment Purchase Process
(The writer is a national athletics coach)
With the level of sports getting refined with time across the world, the play field’s quality is also being upgraded on scientific terms. Due to betterment of quality of sports materials, its prices are also escalating. But the price of only good quality material has increased and here in Himachal the material sold is of lowest quality. Today maximum of sports have shifted from soil and cement track to synthetic track and astroturf. Indoor halls and stadiums too have adopted new technology with taraflex sports flooring laid over wooden floor to achieve more speed and refinement in indoor sports. Does Himachal have officials of such caliber who can monitor and take stock on such modern play fields? Directorate of Higher Education, Himachal Pradesh purchases sports equipment worth several lakhs. However whatever sports material has been purchased from this grant has remained of lowest quality. These sports equipment are left useless after only a little use. Did principal of educational institute or physical education teacher ever tested the quality of these sports equipments? Will this matter be ever inquired? Will the new government be able to put a curb on this practice?
Physical education teacher appointed at college level too are handed over low quality sports products because of lack of knowledge about it. Same is the condition in schools. The sports department sets rate contract for sports equipment seller every year, but the sports items described or shown during contract is replaced by low quality equipment. The sports equipment for exceptional players handpicked from the schools and colleges is purchased by the sports department from sports fee taken from the students. Therefore it becomes necessary to have an experienced sports officer to inspect the quality of sports equipment. Why the advice of trainers appointed in the sports department is not taken before making purchases? The good quality sports equipment not only improves the game of a sportsperson but also runs for a longer period. Most of the better players could be seen purchasing good quality sports products from their personal funds. The principals of educational institutes, physical education teachers and sports officers will have to come forward to end this corrupt practice so that government exchequer worth several crores does not go waste.