Money crunch blocks archery resumption

Vinayak Padmadeo

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 13

The Archery Association of India (AAI) is feeling the pinch as it bids to resume competitions. The competition calendar has been decided and a few state associations are willing to host events — but financial issues and an expected rise in expenses due to Covid-19 protocols is posing a big challenge.

As a norm, AAI budgets around Rs 30 lakh to host the Nationals. However, the Covid safety protocol — which entails testing, sanitisation, and separate rooms for participants — would see a rise in expenses, by up to Rs 10 lakh. AAI, which is currently not recognised by the Sports Ministry, is struggling to cope with the costs.

Even hosting archers for a routine trial in these trying times is a challenge. The trial is scheduled to be held in Jamshedpur from November 23 to 27. Forty men and 18 women archers have been invited to take part in the trials and until today, the federation was trying to organise safe accommodation for them.

“For the last four days we are just trying to figure out how to accommodate the archers. I know we will be able to organise a safe meet but this is a continuous struggle,” AAI secretary general Pramod Chandurkar told The Tribune as he explained the challenges they face.

Question over Nationals

The lack of funds has also put a question mark of whether the Nationals would be held at all this year. Over 600 persons — including archers, coaches, technical staff, state association officials, etc — gather for the Nationals in general, and such a large gathering may prove difficult to manage.

“The trial will be held as we have TATA Archery Academy with us and I am sure that the officials there will do everything that is required. But holding a national event with over 600 persons is a much bigger responsibility,” Chandurkar added.

He added that AAI would announce the national calendar soon, after they have figured out the finances.

“We are struggling for funds. State governments will not give funds, and state associations have no money. So I think holding the Nationals will be difficult,” he said.

“The programme is decided, states are also finalised, but the financial issues are yet to be sorted out,” he added. “One has to understand, now we cannot accommodate four or five archers in one room. And like I said, where will the associations get Rs 40 lakh to host the competition? In these times, putting a crowd of over 600 persons at one venue is very difficult.”

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