The Yachting Association of India’s (YAI) delay in holding elections has hit sailors the hardest.
The elections were due in October-November, but as most of the office-bearers, looking for a second term, serve in the armed forces, the delay in getting permission from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to contest the polls has stretched the process till the third week of July.
As a result, the sailors have had to skip six of the seven foreign exposure trips approved in the Annual Calendar for Training and Competition (ACTC) for 2012-13. The latest one was the Match Racing Sailing Regional Finals of Nations Cup (Asian Continent) in Russia from June 6-9.
Because of the delay in conducting elections, the ACTC for 2013-14 is yet to be finalised and approved by the Sports Authority of India (SAI). So, there will no government support for the three junior and youth international tournaments in July-August.
“Till the time the ACTC is finalised, we cannot send the teams at the government’s cost,” said Jiji Thomson, SAI director general.
When contacted, YAI secretary-general, Commodore Dhiren Vij said, “Talk to Captain Narang regarding these queries.”
Captain Ajay Narang, life member, YAI, told HT that the delay in finalising the ACTC is one of the reasons for not sending teams abroad.
“We couldn’t send the team to Russia because as per YAI rules it is mandatory to have association membership to compete in the national championship. But the teams that came first and second in the nationals didn’t have YAI membership, so they couldn’t be picked.”
The question arises that if YAI membership was mandatory for competing in the nationals, why were the teams allowed to participate?
“If the organising committee made a mistake, then it is not necessary that we are also going to do the same,” said Narang. “Moreover, at that time, the head coach was not here and without him the selection committee was incomplete. So, the teams could not be picked.” Interestingly, it’s the association’s duty to have a complete selection committee.
“We applied for membership before the championship, but the YAI denied us, said Chetan Fernandes, whose team finished second in the nationals.