Can Papon walk the talk?

Nazmul Hassan Papon, the newly appointed Minister of Youth and Sports, made many fantastic promises on his first day in office yesterday, promises that the country’s sports fraternity has heard before from his predecessors with little execution.

Papon came to the National Sports Council (NSC) headquarters for the first time yesterday after taking the oath of office and briefed the media about his intentions to meet with each federation to learn about their difficulties.

“I need to know who is involved with the federations.” “I have to meet with each federation’s officials separately because meeting with eight or nine federations at the same time will not work,” Papon told the sports media in attendance at the NSC.

“We need to know what kind of assistance they require.” Before we can provide financial assistance, we need to know their aims and targets for at least three years since we won’t be able to observe the results if they establish a five-to-seven-year plan,” he said.

Although Papon’s desire to meet with each federation to identify issues is admirable, the main factors impeding the growth of the country’s sports, such as financial constraints, a lack of year-round training, a lack of facilities and quality coaches, and a lack of accountability and transparency among federation officials, are well known.

Previous ministers have talked about resolving these difficulties, but the majority of their pledges have proven to be hollow.

Papon, the current head of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), also advocated about constructing new playgrounds around the nation rather than concentrating on stadium construction.

“I am not in favor of stadiums, but rather of sports.” We don’t need stadiums all over the place. “We need open playgrounds with facilities like dressing rooms so that people can enter the grounds and play,” he stated.

Papon’s predecessor, Zahid Ahsan Russel, made similar claims about resolving issues and taking the required measures to cultivate sports at the grassroots level.

However, it was subsequently revealed that Russel, like past ministers, placed a greater focus on infrastructure development throughout his term.

As minister, Papon must also find a means to revitalize numerous sports that are on the verge of extinction in the nation, as well as discover strategies to bring sports to remote regions.

Unlike Russell, Papon has additional hurdles since he is now the head of the country’s sports ministry and the most powerful sports body, the BCB.

The minister has yet to resign from his position at the BCB and has told the media that he would not go suddenly.

As sports minister, Papon has stated precisely what was expected of him so far. However, recent experiences have discouraged the country’s sports fraternity from waiting for a major transformation in the future years. Papon has spoken the talk in his early media interactions; only time will tell whether he can walk the walk.

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