Archery, rowing continue to be ignored for Sports Ministry recognition

The Archery Association of India and Rowing Federation of India were denied recognition once again, while Equestrian remains a priority sport.

Rowing Federation of India was denied recognition once again. (REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE)   -  GETTY IMAGES

Archery continues to remain de-recognised by the Sports Ministry despite holding much-delayed elections earlier this year, as does Rowing, while the Equestrian Federation continues to enjoy recognition despite not adhering to the Sports Code. Carrom, however, is back as a recognised federation after being kept out last year.

The Archery Association of India held its long-delayed elections in January 2020 and is headed by Union Minister Arjun Munda. The elections paved the way for not only World Archery revoking its suspension of the AAI but also finally ended years of ad-hocism, legal struggles and electoral tussles. The ministry is reportedly waiting for formal clearance from the Delhi High Court.

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The Rowing Federation of India also finds itself out of favour despite holding fresh elections in February this year, in the presence of an Indian Olympic Association (IOA) observer, after complying with the ministry and IOA’s directives to amend its constitution.

Another federation that seemingly managed to have put its house together finally, and was hoping to get government recognition, was Gymnastics but it also did not make the cut. In its case, however, the government has at least mentioned reasons for not granting recognition – questioning the elections of S. Shantikumar Singh as secretary and Parmeshwar Prajapat as executive member – citing the National Sports Development Code 2011. However, while the elections we held way back in November (NSDC) 2019, the objections were raised only towards the end of April 2020.

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Equestrian, meanwhile, continues to be a priority sport for the ministry despite not bothering to amend its constitution in line with the NSDC even after repeated extensions and reminders from both the IOA and the government.

Also not recognised by the ministry are golf, para-sports and School Games, the first for not following the Sports Code and the other two for mis-management. Interestingly, the annual recognition is normally for the calendar year from January-December. However, while the ministry delayed the process by almost half a year, it has also specified the recognition only till September 2020.

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