‘Cannot accept physical punishment’ | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 22, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 22, 2019

‘Cannot accept physical punishment’

The Bangladesh national swimming team’s Japanese coach, Takeo Inoki, resigned from his post and left for his home country after witnessing the horror of how meaningless punishments were inflicted on junior swimmers at the Syed Nazrul Islam National Swimming Complex in Mirpur on Sunday.

Inoki, who was appointed as head coach in August, yesterday wrote on Facebook about how the junior swimmers who violated the rules by bringing cellular phones to the training camp were punished in cruel fashion.

“I felt it was important for me to show that I really do have zero tolerance with organizations or individuals who physically abuse/punish or harass the swimmers,” wrote Inoki, who left the country on Sunday following the incident which took place at around 11:00am.

According to Inoki, a few junior national swimmers broke the rules by bringing phones to training and were subsequently reprimanded by the junior team’s coaching staff.

“They were meaninglessly punished through physical exercise under the strong sun. All swimmers were required to wear long sleeve shirts and tracksuit pants. Some of the exercises were running, front summersaults on the hard tiled floor and rolling around on the hard tiled floor,” stated Inoki, who added that one swimmer lost consciousness and even though the coach pleaded for an ambulance or doctor to be called, the coaches called it play-acting.

Bangladesh Swimming Federation general secretary MB Saif termed the punishments as ‘routine’ as the swimmers often violate this rule.

“We provide mobile devices to the swimmers on Thursday night and take it away on Friday night. But some swimmers kept the mobile without our consent and were punished, which is nothing serious. We tried to contact the coach and waited for five hours but he never returned or gave us a chance to explain,” said Saif adding that they formed a five-member probe committee to look into the matter and submit a report within five working days.

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