THE EXISTING poor condition of rowing sport in Jammu & Kashmir could be assessed from the fact that for 60 rowers, only a single training boat is provided.
The J&K Rowing Association secretary Wasim Raja today openly spoke of his state government’s apathy towards the players. However, despite the oddities the players have geared themselves for the national event, Raja said. The team is participating in the 27th Open and 11th Sprint National Rowing Championship under way at Water Sports Centre, Upper Lake here.
In all, 22 players of J&K — including four girls — are participating in the national championship. Though the team has failed to grab a medal in the ongoing championship, their determination for the game is no lesser than any other participating team.
“Our players are determined to prove that there is immense potential available in J&K. The need is to provide support”, said J&K Rowing Association secretary Wasim Raja. About the infrastructure available in their state for rowing, he said that the state rowing association was formed two year ago and was trying hard to prepare players for the national tourneys.
“We have good lakes ideal for rowing but the lack of support restrained talented players from performing according to their ability”, said Raja. However, he added that even though they have only one boat for practice, the courageous players are trying hard to win medals.
He lauded the efforts of the Rowing Federation of India for giving necessary support. National players Khushdil Ahmed said that the government should give support to the rowers. “I am representing the state team for the second time in nationals.
I want to make my state proud at the national level by winning medals but it is unrealistic when you have only one boat for practice”, said Ahmed. “Imagine a situation where more than 50 players stand in queue for their turn to practice”, said Class XI student Khushdil.