Swimming: Bangladeshi juniors punished for excessive use of mobile phones, coach quits in protest

The head coach of Bangladesh's national swimming federation Takeo Inoki announced his resignation on Facebook after alleging that junior swimmers were forced to do punishment exercises in the sun.
The head coach of Bangladesh's national swimming federation Takeo Inoki announced his resignation on Facebook after alleging that junior swimmers were forced to do punishment exercises in the sun.PHOTO: TAKEO INOKI / FACEBOOK

DHAKA (AFP) - The Japanese head coach of Bangladesh's national swimming federation has quit after alleging that junior swimmers were forced to do punishment exercises in the blazing sun for using their phones too much.

Announcing his resignation on Facebook, Takeo Inoki, who was hired in August ahead of the South Asian Games in December, said he had "zero tolerance" for physical punishment.

Inoki said that a group of juniors were given "meaningless physical exercise" in temperatures of 40 deg C on Sunday (Oct 20) for breaching rules limiting their mobile phone usage.

Forced to wear long sleeves and tracksuit bottoms in the hot sun, the children had to run, do somersaults and frog jumps on a hard tiled floor. One of them then collapsed to the ground.

The girl was left lying for about 10 minutes and when Inoki raised his concerns, the other coaches "were laughing and saying that she was acting and we should leave her there".

Eventually she was brought to a shaded area but Inoki said he was told there was no ice and no phone to call an ambulance. Finally she was taken away "to somewhere" by van, he said.

Inoki said he would notify Fina, the world swimming federation, and that he hoped this "sad incident would became (a) critical tuning point into building a new competitive swimming organisation and structure in Bangladesh".

 
 

Bangladesh Swimming Federation chief M.B. Saif said it was "surprised" at the resignation.

"The swimmers are allowed to keep a phone with them only one day a week. They broke the rule and were punished. Usually these punishments are not very harsh," he said, adding a probe has been ordered.