Big Hopes, Small Achievements [Archives:1998/33/Sports]

August 17 1998
Jamal Al Awadhi
Sport Editor
Before any Yemeni sport team leaves the country to participate in Arab or international sport activities, the coaches and the sport officials ensure that the team is “lucky enough” and that the players can do well with their high morale and strong will. But as the players do horribly bad, excuses like a bad omen, hot weather and feeling homesick, etc, come to justify their failure.
Any sport achievement requires planning and an organized training program. Offering facilities and also supporters of the players must be there. Any athlete or player must never need to do norml work tp earn a living. I can see that the reasons behind the failure of our sport sector is because:
1) No training camps:
The training camps usually last 15 to 20 days for singles games and 30 to 45 days for team games. During these camps, the players are not provided with good, really nutritional food. In addition, they do hard exercises. This turns the athletes in a very bad physical condition and so they can never do well.
2 ) Lack of sports fields & equipment:
Until today, there is not even one exercise hall for the teams athletes. I have to admit that our athletes are physically weak. Our sport venues lack all the necessary sport equipment. The Swimming Association does not have a swimming pool, the Boxing Association does not have a boxing ring, the Football Association does not have a suitable stadium, and the
Horse Riding Association does not have enough horses, etc.
3 ) Unplanned Training:
The sport associations do not honestly value the sport teams and players. If a Yemeni athlete gets a medal, all he gets is a tea party and some money. Nobody cares about him afterwards. This affects the athletes very badly.
The other thing is unplanned training, especially in the singles games. The coaches look at the good skill of the players and totally ignore qualifying them physically. There is not a particular program for the teams or the athletes. People start training one month or even less before they participate in any international sport event.
The money given to the Sport and Youth Ministry is enough to cover all the expenses needed for improving the sport sector. But, there is no monitoring body inside or outside the ministry. The Minister of Sport and Youth, Dr. Raweh has a very hard task, that is reforming the situation inside the ministry. Our sport athletes do have good capabilities, but they need to be given good care and support.