Gymnasts, fencers at receiving end

*Insufficient infra serves stumbling block
Rajesh Dhar
JAMMU, June 24: Gymnastics and fencing are among very few sports in which the State of Jammu and Kashmir, which otherwise is striving hard to craft a place in the field of sports, can boast of producing some international stuff.
Sonia Sharma and Harleen Kour etc (gymnastics), while Rashid and Ujjwal Gupta etc (fencing) are a few ace players to name.
However, despite having enormous talent in these sports disciplines, the players, who possess all that is required to blossom even at the highest level, are not in a position to give their hundred percent, courtesy lack of infrastructure available in these games in the State.
J&K State Sports Council despite utilizing the services of the coaches of repute in Krupalli Singh, SP Singh, Manisha, Nilesh, Rachna Jamwal and Chotu Lal, these games though are leading medal winning disciplines, yet fail to justify their potential and talent as also the talent of their coaches.
The parallel bar, the horizontal bar, the balance beam and the allied infrastructure and not to talk of advanced equipment in gymnastics, are in bad shape, the talented fencers remain wanting for want of standard equipment.
“We are beginners in these sports disciplines and have to learn basic fundamentals. However, we get a feeling that the condition of the equipment and lack of infrastructure is blowing a death-knell to these sports disciplines, wherein the wisdom of the outstanding coaches remains wanting”, said budding gymnasts and fencers while narrating their tale of woes to Excelsior.
The coaches in these disciplines also feel displeased over the lack of infrastructure.
“We are here to fine-tune skill of the players, but the unavailability of standard infrastructure proves to be stumbling block to do the same. The development of the quality infrastructure is the need of the hour. The Government is developing standard infrastructure in various disciplines of sports and we are hopeful that these games would also be covered”, opined coaches.
For that matter, the State Government which is committed to promote sports and games in the State, needs to raise more and more quality infrastructure in these games to produce more and more quality sportspersons to match advanced states like Punjab, Maharashtra etc in the field of sports.

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