WMA needs to sort out holy mess that is Indian masters athletics

Sprinter Fareez Vasania

Last year and this, we wrote here about the competing masters track overseers in India. The WMA affiliate is acting like a banana republic, dictating who can attend major international masters meets. Of course, a little money will grease the skids. Well, nothing has changed. As proof, check out this story about Indian athletes trying to enter the Asian Masters Athletics Championships in Malaysia. It’s titled: “Athletes caught in clash of officials.” So where is WMA? It should straighten this out ASAP. Instead, they’re AWOL. Such a shame.

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.

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October 5, 2010

5 Responses

  1. Moraghan - October 5, 2010

    “and have to spend from our own pockets for travel, even gear”.

    Are there any countries out there where the athletes don’t have to pay for their own gear, travel, entries etc?

    We (British) have to buy our own kit which appears to be leftovers from the 1906 London Olympics.

  2. Matthew - October 5, 2010

    @ Moraghan,

    Good thing you guys are holding the 2012 edition. Up to date hand-me-downs on the way.

    (PS The 1906 Olympcis were in Greece.)

  3. dass - December 18, 2010

    the organizers looted the participants for the 16th asian masters athletics at kuala lumpur . all were asked to shell out rs 35000 to participate. till the last minute the participants were kept guessing about their arrival and departure dates . finally they were put on a low cost Air india express though they were charged a lot. rs 50 per dollar was charged for expenses from the athletes promising the balance would be repaid depending on the current exchange rate,which was rs 45 but now there is no talk of returning the money. all were charged rs 1500 per day room charges when the room charges were actually were 750 per head. gross favouritism was used for the relay teams. as only 3 teams participated and all were assured of medals in the ladies relay, some of the organizin ladies from MAFI ran cutting out regular runners national medal winners. a fat lady who does only throws ran 100 metres relay putting the country to shame

  4. ashwani kumar - February 24, 2013

    i m ashwani.i m indian.my date of birth.i want to qualifie this athlatics.

  5. ashwani kumar - February 24, 2013

    my date of birth 19-7-1968.can i qualifie this athlaties

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