Missed out on a berth to represent India at the Games? No problem, you can still be a part of it. India archers Kapil and Priyank have shown the way.
The two men’s recurve archers have enrolled as volunteers for the competition and, with both assigned to provide technical assistance on the field, have ensured they get to cheer their teammates from close quarters.
“I wanted to be part of the biggest event happening in India. I missed out after a close selection trial. So, I tagged along with Priyank and applied to be a volunteer. Now, we can cheer our team from close quarters,” said the 22-year-old Kapil, who was part of the men’s recurve team at the World Cup in Ogden, USA, last month.
For Priyank, things were slightly different. The former junior national champion has been struggling for form for the past one year and had very little chance of qualifying in the three-member team for the Games.
“I am posted here and stay close by at the ITBP quarters. When I am not at the camp in Kolkata, I stay here. My accommodation was taken care of even before the association had made arrangements, Kapil’s idea sounded great,” 25-year-old Priyank said.
But whatever the circumstances, the two Gurukul Prabhat Ashram graduates from Meerut have shown great team spirit and bonding.
Even Olympian Mangal Singh Champia, who lost out on a CWG berth to SAF gold-medallist Tarundeep Rai in the trials, is part of the volunteers’ team.
“But I have asked him to stay back in Kolkata and practice for the Asian Games,” said Pareshnath Mukherjee, secretary-general of the Archery Association of India.
Among former players, Olympians Satyadev Prasad and Ved Kumar are part of the star-studded volunteers’ team. “This is their sport, so let them conduct it,” said Mukherjee.
As such a whole lot of present and former archers are directly involved with the event. So, there would be very few left cribbing that they were ignored for the CWG.