NEW DELHI: Toast of the nation three months ago, India’s first ever lawn balls the Birmingham Commonwealth Games medalists are quickly falling into oblivion, looking for sponsors for their next assignment.
The women’s team comprising a teacher from Delhi and police officers had won historic gold on the picturesque greens of Victoria Park near Birmingham.
The men’s team consisting of an aspiring driver and two Jharkhand police officers followed up with an unprecedented silver medal to cap off a dream run at the Games. It was the first time India had managed to win a medal since the sport’s inception in 1930.
Navneet Singh, the youngest member of the men’s team of four, had hoped his life would change as he stood on the podium on a glorious afternoon on August 6. But much to his disappointment, “all” are back to where they were three months ago.
The Indian Bowling Federation was supposed to send a two-member squad to New Zealand later this month for the Champions of Champions tournament, but backed out due to financial constraints.
“The cost was down to Rs 7 lakh per person and the athletes usually arrange the money by themselves. We hope we will get recognition from the central government soon so that we don’t have to worry about training funds. and competition, “Treasurer of the Indian Bowling Federation Krishan Bir Singh Rathi told PTI.
Navneet, 27, who discovered the sport at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi 12 years ago, also expressed his disappointment.
“We thought things were going to change, but they haven’t yet. We hope government recognition will come soon so we can plan our competition schedule well in advance,” said the based athlete. in Delhi, who had failed his pilot exam to represent India on the CWG.
His other team members included a 37-year-old sports teacher Chandan Kumar SinghJharkhand police officers Sunil Bahadur and Dinesh Kumar. The women’s gold medal team included Pinki, Lovely Choubey, Rupa Rani Tirkey and Nayanmoni Saikia.
Funding for the CWG was not an issue as all participating athletes were funded by the government, but for stand-alone events athletes must make their own arrangements.
“Applied for government recognition last year”
Recounting a sad situation, Rathi informed that the federation was unable to afford the catering and accommodation used during the training camp ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
The four-month camp took place in Delhi before the team flew to London for a 10-day camp just before the Games in Birmingham. Total dues are Rs 1.32 crore.
“We have asked the government to clarify this as well, we have been waiting. We applied for the recognition last year and the case is still with the Ministry of Sports. Our sport will get a much needed boost with the recognition from the government,” he said. Rathi said.
With government recognition, the Federation will be able to apply for funds under the Annual Training and Competition Calendar (ACTC).
The athletes have already missed an important event in New Zealand, but are hoping to secure funding for the Asian Championships in February.
Delhi-based athletes Navneet and Pinki are also waiting for their cash reward from the Delhi government. All CWG members received their cash awards from the central government in accordance with the policy.

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