Drona-Less Modern Arjuna's Target Fish-Eye; Indian Archery Team Travelling To World Cup Without A Coach

Published : 27 Sep 2018 8:24 AM GMT
Drona-Less Modern Arjuna

Arjuna was one of the greatest warriors of the Mahabharata-era known for his exceptional archery skills. But those skills were honed by Guru Dronacharya who passed on his learnings to make Arjuna one of the greatest of all time, which basically signified the value of a coach in a student’s development.

Indian archery has been in the limelight in recent times for some unwanted reasons, has now found another addition to its controversial list. The team is flying for Archery World Cup Final to be held in Turkey without a coach.

The team of Deepika Kumari (recurve), Abhishek Verma, and Jyoti Surekha Vennam (both compound) were supposed to leave on Wednesday with coaches Lokesh Chand Pal and Jiwanjot Singh Teja. But they left for the tournament without any coaches as Lokesh who also works in a private school as a coach was yet to get permission from the school while Jiwanjot recently resigned from the coaching post after Dronacharya Award snub.

Dronacharya Awards Controversy

Jiwanjot Singh Teja, who was selected as the Archery Coach in 2013 has a very successful run with the young Indian breed. One of his prominent success as a coach was recent compound archery teams’ (V Jyoti Surekha, Trisha Deb, P. Lily Chanu, Muskan Kirar, Divya Dhayal and Madhumita) rise to number one ranking in world rankings surpassing Chinese Taipei.

This success was even doubled with his nomination for this year’s Dronacharya Awards. However, things did not take much time to overturn as his name was removed from the nominee list seven days prior to the Sports Awards 2018 (25th September). Past disciplinary actions by The Association of Indian Universities and Archery Associations of India (AAI) in 2015 were portrayed as the main reasons for depriving him of one of the most prestigious coaching honour of the country.

Archers Abhishek Verma and Rajat Chauhan also wrote a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind, requesting to ensure Teja’s nomination for the awards. However, Teja retaliated two days later with his resignation from National Head coach post, leaving the whole Indian contingent in disarray.

World Archery Warning

World Archery (WA) recently issued a warning to AAI for not conducting elections and gave an ultimatum to host an election. The Highest World Archery Body also hinted that if India doesn’t come up with elections at earliest, players qualified for Olympics might have to play under an independent WA flag.

AAI was de-recognised by the Union Sports Ministry in 2012 for violating age and tenure rules of the National Sports Code. Since then, no National Championships is conducted in the country, decreasing the popularity of the sport among youth.

Delhi High Court appointed SY Quraishi, former Chief Election Commissioner of India, as administrator of Archery Association of India (AAI) for conducting elections with Sports code and taking appropriate actions to revamp archery sports in the country. As per The New Indian Express, Quraishi is set to submit a fresh draft of federation’s amended constitution to the Supreme Court shortly.

The Logical Indian Take

In the 21st century, where India is seen as a potential competitor for the whole world in all aspects, sports is still one of the major fields we, as a nation, need to work on. Sports like Archery with less visibility in our country hardly attracts youths to take it up as a full-time professional sport. These types of sports are still fighting for their existence in the country. But these kinds of controversies not only demotivate people who are currently associated with it but also the kids who think of taking some different sports other than Cricket, Tennis or Football. With no national championships for more than five years, young kids are distracting from this sport as no national certification makes them ineligible for any government or public sector job.

People like Jiwanjot Singh Teja are trying to revive these types of the sport by sharing their learnings. But when it comes to honouring these teachers, they are scrutinised in every possible manner by higher authorities demolishing their trust and confidence. And any reactive actions by these people, like resigning from the post, ultimately affects the sportsperson under their guidance and the country.

Also Read: This Organisation Is Working With Women To Create A More Equitable Grassroots Sports Ecosystem For India

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