Wetlands have been one of earth’s most important ecosystems providing food and habitat for aquatic life. Charanbeel, an oxbow-shaped wetland, situated in Morigaon is a freshwater, perennial, lentic water body generally known as ‘Beel’ inAxomiya.
Besides it being a provider to the flora and fauna, the Beel has also paved paths for swimmers of the region to hone their craft and participate in water sports like Kayaking and Canoeing since the conduct of the 2007 National Games.
‘Kayaking, Canoeing & Swimming Training Centre’ along the Oujari Charanbeel in Morigaon has been training over 150 athletes, of which many have brought laurels to the state in various national championships.
However, despite embarking on a glorious journey, little has been done to recognize the players’ talents and support them for their representation in international championships gradually.
The plight of these national-level winners is something that needs to be sensitized and realized, keeping in mind the accolades they are capable of bringing to the state.
Upon entering the training centre, the situation was quite clear. Negligence was at its peak.
GulapFangsong, a gold medalist amongst them, spoke about how they are deprived of basic sporting and infrastructural facilities. He said since 2007, there has been no help from the government even after repeated requests.
The boats that are currently used in championships are called ‘Nelo’ boats, however, these athletes are still using the old and banned ‘Sunny’ boats for practice as there is no financial support from the government.
Each ‘Nelo’ boat costs approximately 4 lakh.
Boats being the prime element in their sports, it is something that should be given the utmost importance.
Even for repairs, these athletes and their coach, Ananta Borthakur, are forced to pay from their money.
Despite everything, they still bring medals and pride to the state.
For a sportsman to excel in his craft, it is pertinent that they need proper nutrition, a good training environment, and ofcourse, the equipment.
But these athletes are forced to make do with whatever is available for them.
With the unavailability of a working gym, proper fooding facility and also a hostel, the possibility is high that their performances would and could get affected, but astonishingly, these national-level players still manage throughout.
Moreover, due to inadequate facilities at the training centre, inbound players from other states are unable to avail suitable training for these unusual water sports, which reflects the development of sports infrastructure in the state poorly.
‘Kayaking, Canoeing & Swimming Training Centre’ is the only water sport training centre in Assam.
Rather than providing basic equipment and developing the infrastructure of the training centre, it seems that the government is busy building a restaurant and a park in the area.
With that being said, the athletes and their accomplishments till now are evidently being ignored. It is important to encourage these young lads in their sport rather than completely ignoring them, since 2007 – 14 years.
The way the government and sports authorities have been ignoring these athletes is nothing less than appalling.
Will the government take cognizance of the matter?
Check out this exclusive story done by Pratidin Time Digital –