After reports emerged that the Indian archers were left to fend for themselves in Pune where they have gathered to compete at the selection trials for the Olympic Qualifiers, the government has swung into damage control mode.
The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has said it will arrange for the boarding and lodging for the archers and that they won’t have to pay for it from their own pockets. “The government will provide support as has been done for the national campers for the boarding and lodging of the men’s and women’s recurve archers competing at the trials in the Army Sports Institute (ASI),” SAI said in a statement on Friday.
A report in The Times of India had alleged that no arrangements had been made for the accommodations of archers in the absence of the suspended Archery Association of India (AAI).
Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju also tweeted saying no athlete whether attending a national camp or a trial will have to pay for his/her boarding and lodging. “No athlete attending a national camp or trail will have to pay for boarding and lodging. The government will provide support, like in previous cases, to the men’s and women’s recurve archers competing at the trials in the Army Sports Institute (ASI), Pune, that starts on Jan 4,” Rijiju posted on his official Twitter handle.
Having already competed at the stage 1 trials last year, the likes of Deepika Kumari, Bombayla Devi, Atanu Das and 21 other archers have been exempted from stage 2 trials. They will take part in the stage 3 that gets underway from January 18.
The stage 2 of the open trails starts from January 4 and will conclude on January 7.