Asian gold medallist laments lack of corporate support

Manpreet kaur

“Before Olympics I got two sponsorships. But now even for training I pay from my own pocket.”

She has won an Asian Athletics Championships gold for the country. She gives a big hope for the nation at global athletic events. She is an Olympian. But all this does not suffice for her to get the required support to excel.

Manpreet Kaur, mother of a five-year-old, says that it is hard to train without a sponsor as they have families to look after as well. In an interview to PTI, she said: “Before the Olympics, I got sponsorship from two companies. But after the Olympics, I have no sponsors and no support from any private sector company. We are now training from our pocket only and it is hard. We have to look after our home as well as train.”

“Private sector involvement is poor, especially in North India. In South India, it is better and athletes from there are getting sponsors. It will be good for an athlete to get a sponsor or get financial support from business houses or private sector companies. If I want to do good but is having financial problem, then we experience setback and have to pull back,” she added. “If there is no financial issues, our minds are free and can do better. If there is financial support, the athletes will have freedom mentally and can do better.”

Currently training at the NIS Patiala with her husband-coach Karamjit Singh, Manpreet is away from her daughter Jasnoor, who is being brought up by her grandmother. “Jasnoor will be six years in a few months and my mother-in-law looked after my baby from the very beginning when I started training when she (Jasnoor) was 10 months old. I would keep speaking to my mother-in-law daily on phone to ask about Jasnoor,” Manpreet said. “She has started knowing things now, what is happening around her etc. She knows my competition (at Asian Championships) is over but I am still staying back. She asked me why I am not coming back. Come back, it is too much now, she told me over phone,” added Manpreet.

“Both me and my husband are not with her and so she feels it even though she is with her grandmother, that is natural. What do I do, I have to do for the country also. I feel satisfied that I am doing something at least for the country. It is worth the sacrifice,” she said.

Manpreet has been a former world No. 1 shot putter. She also holds the national record of17.95 metres for women’s shot put. She has also been a national weightlifting champion.