WMA needs to sort out holy mess that is Indian masters athletics
Here’s the story, in case the link goes down under:
By: Dharam Dhutia Date: 2010-09-26 Place: Mumbai
As the deadline for the Asian Masters Athletic Championship draws near, state veteran athletes find themselves torn between warring sporting bodies
After the Commonwealth Games debacle, it looks as if mismanagement is rife in organisations that send sporting delegations for other international tournaments as well.
Veteran city sportsmen have found themselves stuck in a strange tangle while trying to get themselves registered for the 16th Asian Masters Athletic Championship. The Championship — a competition for sportsmen above the age of 35 — will be held in Malaysia this December.
The sportsmen are all registered with the Veterans Association based in Thane. After the applications of around 100 athletes from Maharashtra were rejected, they have had to re-apply, this time, through another body — the Masters Athletic Federation of India.
With the deadline for applications (end of September), just around the corner, the sportsmen are worried since the chances of participation this year seem bleak.
“I am a member at the Veterans Association, and have registered myself through it. But my application was rejected, as the Association is not recognised by the Athletic Federation of India. Now I need to go through the Masters Athletic Federation of India, but this delay may cost me since the deadline is close,” said sprinter Fareez Vasania.
There’s another complication: the Veterans Association and the Masters Athletic Federation are at loggerheads. “If we attend a meet of either association, the other threatens to boycott us. This is ridiculous. I just want to play my game, I don’t care who sends my application as long as it is done in time,” said Rohinton Mehta, a hurdle athlete.
To make matters worse, the veterans aren’t receiving support from the sports ministry or the government, and have to bear their own expenses. “We have no facilities and have to spend from our own pockets for travel, even gear. Most people don’t participate thanks to these problems,” Vasania said.
The veterans say they are fed up with the apathy shown by the government towards all sports except cricket. “I think corporate management is the best solution to all our sporting problems,” said Vasania.
Officials from the Masters Athletic Federation claim that the Veterans Association did not give them proper details of the athletes. “The Veterans Association has just forwarded us the names of the athletes and has provided no proper details.