• Friday, Nov 15, 2019
  • Last Update : 07:45 am

Japanese swimming coach resigns protesting Bangladeshi style child punishment

  • Published at 08:03 pm October 21st, 2019
Takeo Inoki
Takeo Inoki

The national swimming team has been training under Inoki at Syed Nazrul Islam Swimming Complex in Mirpur ahead of the December’s South Asian Games in Nepal while the junior talent hunt team under the local coaches has been honing on their skills simultaneously at the same venue

Japanese swimming coach Takeo Inoki resigned from the post of Bangladesh national swimming team’s head coach due to punishment of a young swimmer against his will at the training camp and the decision created a huge tremor in the country’s swimming arena. The Bangladesh Swimming Federation has formed a three-member committee to investigate the incident.

The national swimming team has been training under Inoki at Syed Nazrul Islam Swimming Complex in Mirpur ahead of the December’s South Asian Games in Nepal while the junior talent hunt team under the local coaches has been honing on their skills simultaneously at the same venue.

According to Inoki’s statement on facebook Monday, a few junior swimmers faced punishments from the coaches and officials for violating the rule of using mobile phone with “meaningless” physical exercise under the heavy sun on Sunday.

“One of the swimmers (Sharifa Akter Mim) suddenly dropped to hard tiled floor. The coaches left her there for about 10 minutes. When I told junior team coaches to go and check her and make sure she was OK, coaches were laughing and saying that she was acting and we should leave her there. They also told me that it is Bangladesh style and it is a very usual incident.”

Inoki continued on his post, “After I told the coaches to go and help her for about 3 minutes, two coaches went to her and brought the unconscious female swimmer to shaded area. I told the coaches to bring ice and call ambulance. They were saying that there is no ice and there is no telephone number to call an ambulance service in Dhaka. Finally they took the unconscious female swimmer by a van to somewhere.”

“Due to above incident, I informed BSF my immediate resignation from National Team Head Coach position. It was a difficult decision especially considering for the swimmers preparing for South Asian Games in December this year. But I felt it was important for me to show that I really mean Zero Tolerance to organizations or individuals who give physical abuse/punishments and any harassment to the swimmers,” 

“ I hope this sad incident would became critical tuning point into building a new competitive swimming organization and structure in Bangladesh,’ said the coach who urged to swimming community for sharing the message. 

BSF general secretary MB Saif told to Dhaka Tribune that Inoki mentioned “personal reason” for his resignation and denied talking to the federation officials regarding the incident. “He left the camp for personal reasons. We tried to contact him but in vain, He did not say anything to any of us.”

“Junior swimmers at talent hunt always use mobile and facebook till after midnight and couldn’t train well during the training in the morning. That is why we restricted their use of mobile phone but still they violated it and the coaches punished them for it. We are trying to know the level of punishment the swimmers have gone through. We formed an investigation committee.”

The three-member committee led by swimming camp commander Mahadiul Hasan along with joint-secretary Selim Mia and member Nibedita Das has been given five working days to submit their report. Inoki, who joined as swimming head coach in the first week of September, threatened to report the incident to world swimming governing body, FINA.