THE SUPPORT FROM THE GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN FANTASTIC – INTERVIEW WITH CYRUS PONCHA

India has been doing well on the sports front off late. Government support and initiatives have made sure that India soon becomes a sporting powerhouse. A lot of sports are now on the rise, squash being one of them.

Every time a major sporting event is around the corner we tend to weigh our chances of winning medals. Indian Squash National Team Coach, Cyrus Poncha, is positive about Indias chances of landing a medal at the Commonwealth Games Goald Coast 2018.

Speaking with SportWise India here’s what he had to say about the present scenario for squash in India:

How much has squash evolved from the time you started playing to the present day?

There has been an absolute transformation. When I started playing in the 80s we used to have 3 or 4 tournaments in a calendar year. We didn’t even have a handful of players playing on the international circuit. There was no organised structure with regards to coaching, development, tournaments or rankings. There has been a vast improvement. In the last decade we’ve taken massive strides in terms of infrastructure development, also our results over the last decade have also been improving.

As the national coach, what all do you look after?

As the national coach I have to look after all the players that come under my wing. The entire coaching programme along with tournament participation formalities comes under our wings.

Who is the brightest prospect for India at Squash?

Thats a question depending in what point of time you look at. We have the commonwealth games coming soon. Saurav Ghosal, Joshna Chinappa, Dipika Pallikal Karthik are strong contenders to win the individual event. We are hoping for them to do well in the doubles event as well.

One thing that squash in India is lacking?

Its got to do with the numbers, we’ve grown right now. We have more than 7000 registered at all level. If this number gets higher it’ll definitely help. We have the infrastructure and the number of courts too are increasing.

Do you think a league system will help Squash in India?

Yes, certainly! I believe if we’re more visible on tv. The main focus is to get more visibility so if we get that it’ll definitely help.TV channels require a lot of money to televise squash so thats a big hurdle we’re currently facing.

What sort of support is the government extending in terms of funding and infrastructure?

The government is extending fantastic support towards our top players. Every player gets good funding for their tournaments as well as for their training. Its been absolutely outstanding. In fact Saurav, Joshna, Dipika are a part of the top scheme that is the target olympics podium scheme. So they are all being funded by the government and the support received has been excellent.