The Sports Ministry on Saturday announced that it has extended the contracts of nine foreign athletics coaches, including that of high-performance director Volker Hermann, with an eye on the 2022 Asian Games, 2022 Commonwealth Games, and the 2024 Paris Olympics.
While the contracts of Hermann and three other coaches have been extended till September 30, 2024, the ministry has handed three coaches contracts till September 30, 2022. The two remaining contracts have been extended till September 30, 2021.
“There is a well-defined roadmap ahead for our athletes as we eye the best of preparations for 2024 and 2028," said Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju. “This decision to extend the contract of the coaches will benefit our athletes as there will be continuation of their training with the same coach. Coaches play the most vital part in moulding our athletes to reach the elite level and this also improves India’s chances in various major international events going ahead."
In July, the ministry had announced that contracts of all foreign coaches across sports will be extended till September 30, 2021. The contracts of a majority of the coaches were originally due to end on August 31, 2020, in alignment with the original dates for the Tokyo Olympics which were to be held from July 24 to August 9.
However, the circumstances created by the spread of the coronavirus pandemic led to the Olympics being postponed to next year. It is now scheduled to be held from July 23 to August 8 next year.
Additionally, the ministry had given four-year contracts to new foreign coaches in accordance with the Olympic cycle.