17-year-old Harshveer Singh Sekhon, the ace skater who made the country proud in the Asian Roller Skating Championship held at Haining, China, by winning a silver medal in September will not be able to particpate in the World Championship Roller Speed Skating.
Despite being eligible to take part in the championship, he has withdrawn his name from the international event due to a financial crisis.
The skater's father, Baljeet Singh Sekhon, said, "With no financial help from the sports department or government, spending on two back-to-back international events was next to impossible for us.
We cannot afford to spend on travelling, camps, skating kits, besides other other miscellaneous expenses all by ourselves."
He added that after Harshveer got his name picked up for the Asian roller skating championship, they did not want to miss out on the precious opportunity, and hence somehow managed to collect and spent over `8 lakh for the trip to China. "With strenuous efforts he pulled it off by winning a silver medal. However, sending him for another international event by spending `6 lakh again is not not be within our bounds," he added.
The young skater's father also whined about how they were always fed with the lame excuses of scarcity of funds each time they went to meet the state's sports officials.
Meanwhile, Harshveer shared as to how he was ina dilemma about whether to pursue his career in skating or simply focus on his academics at this point. "The tale is same for every skater in the state no matter whether you are a struggler or an achiever,".he added. A disappointed Harshveer said his confidence level had gone for a toss after missing a lifetimes opportunity of playing in the world championship.
"I had great chance of winning a medal as skaters from Korea and Japan whom I led during the Asians won medals in world championship," rued Harshveer.
The skater has several state and national level records and medals to his credit in the past. He has won two gold and one bronze medal in the 59th School Games National Championship (SGFI) held in January at Virar, Mumbai.
Punjab deputy director, sports, Sarabjit Singh Toor, said, "We will acquire all the necessary details from the concerned player himself and pursue the matter with the higher authorities."
On the other hand, Tejinder Singh Dhaliwal, director, Punjab Sports Department, said, "Firstly, we will verify whether the sports event where the said player won medal is recognised or not and if that is the case, we will ask the player to forward us all the required documents following which we will decide whether to release funds or not."