Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra on Tuesday called for improvement in the professional support system of the athletes if the country wants to produce top performers.

Bindra said all the National Sports Federations need to have a professional set up and a high-performance manager.

“Indian sports have come a long way. But there is still much distance to travel. Until we address and improve the overall depth of professional support of our athletes, we will not have the consistency that is needed to keep on replacing the top athletes,” Bindra said.

He was speaking at the launch of ELMS (Excellence in Learning and Mastering of Sports and Physical Literacy) Foundation, of which he will be one of the leading lights, along with Pullela Gopichand.

“I wonder what results can be produced if we introduce and groom our most talented youngsters systematically in a scientific and professional manner. While I have achieved my dreams and have been successful in my own sporting career, I now have new dreams and wish to empower the next generation of talents in a meaningful and sustainable way,” he said.

‘We intend to train high-performance managers’

“We want to develop the best minds in the world regarding the aspects of physical literacy, sports performance, administration and management. We intend to train high performance managers.”

Talking about high-performance managers, Bindra said, “One of the recommendations of the committee to draft the National Sports Code of which I am a member was to mandate each of the NSFs to have a HPM on its staff. The results a particular sport achieves will be directly proportional to the quality of the person who is appointed HPM.”

“The draft code is yet to be notified but I am delighted by the recent comments of the sports minister that this will be soon required for all federations. This will not be a moment too soon but that said we will need to train and equip these people,” he said with Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore sitting by his side at the dais.

“A high-performance manager is someone who has an intrinsic deep knowledge of sports and then oversees the whole sport in a result-oriented mindset. They are not bound to one sport and can seamlessly move and develop different sports.”

“We want an individual who has gained a world perspective of sports and who can then improve our local situation here.”