Swimming: Swimming professionals sell vegetables, tea to make a living amid pandemic | More sports News

BENGALURU: For over a decade, Lakshmi and Veeresh’s (names modified) skilled lives revolved across the swimming pool. While Lakshmi is a certified coach, Veeresh labored as a supervisor at a reputed swim centre till a month in the past. Now, they work as a salesperson in a stationery retailer and an assistant at a chaat store respectively.
This just isn’t an remoted story however the widespread plight of over 900 swimming coaches, lifeguards and upkeep employees within the state. The numbers pan India are mind-numbing.
While most different sports are limping again to life amid the pandemic, swimming has been one of many worst hit. The scenario received worse this week with the Ministry of Home Affairs extending the lockdown on swimming swimming pools till July 31.
Having misplaced a chunk of their annual earnings with no summer season camps this season, many swim centres are both paying partial salaries or have let go of their employees. With one-dimensional ability and the job market risky, the coaches, who belong to an unorganised sector, are doing odd jobs to keep afloat.
“Both my wife and I are coaches. While I still get a portion of my salary, my wife, who coaches in a school, has had no income over the past few weeks. Most of the coaches are in a similar situation. I know of fellow coaches who are selling vegetables and tea on the roadside to make ends meet. It hurts us more when we see other athletes train. All we asked was to allow competitive swimming, but who is listening,” lamented Manjunath V.
Some, like Vijay N, have tried to fall again on their academic qualification to tide over the scenario however met with little success.
“For eight years, I didn’t think I’ll have to do something else. Now, I’m willing to take up just about any job. The only aim is to put food on the table. I hope the government offers some relief to us,” stated Vijay, who has a diploma in mechanical engineering.
M Satish Kumar, who runs a chain of swim centres in Karnataka, has requested most of his employees to search for jobs elsewhere. He can have solely 10 of his 55 employees members on board, who can be paid a portion of their wage.
“I paid all of them salaries for the first two months and dipped heavily into my personal savings, but with not a penny coming in, with a heavy heart I had to tell them to look for other jobs. I have assured them that they can come back when the situation improves,” stated the previous swimmer.
Dronacharya awardee Nihar Ameen, has requested seasonal coaches to return to their respective residence cities and retained his core staff.
“With so many overhead costs, it’s difficult to keep going. We’ve done everything we can to convince the government to allow competitive swimmers to train, but we haven’t got a positive response,” acknowledged Ameen.
REFUND OF FEES
The scenario is not any completely different for Olympian Nisha Millet, who’s the director of Nisha Millet Swimming Academy.
“Some of my staff members have taken pay cuts while some have found other jobs. I’m helpless because a lot of people have asked for fee refund and we have pool maintenance as well. So, the expenditure is huge while income is nil,” she stated.
Nisha has deliberate crowdfunding to assist coaches.
“I’ve written to former trainers, friends and well-wishers to chip in and help our coaches in need. No amount is too small and it can be paid to them directly,” Nisha identified.
With every passing day, the coaches’ hope of returning to their jobs is sinking.
IN A NUTSHELL
– 46 swim golf equipment are affiliated to the Karnataka Swimming Association
– About 70 swimming pools function within the state
– There are approximate 600 aggressive coaches and lifeguards within the state
– Salary ranges from Rs 15,000-Rs 75,000
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