Monday, May 7, 2007

Where are the Sikh women Athletes?

I don't know about you, but lately I am kind of getting tired of looking at all the men pictures in Punjabi newspapers where they hand out trophies, achievement awards, certificates to each other and pat each others back and hardly any women, girls are shown receiving any awards at these sports, bhangra, and other functions. Sometimes it feels like some of these guys are in a major need for self ego boost. Here is an example of one where all members, organizers etc. seem male and the so called organization seems to be heavily male dominated. It would be okay if at least someone had the courtesy and will to include women athletes. I do commend the people for starting the much needed organization though and wish it all of the sucess and providing equal representation in the sports events. But pictures in the newspapers, and teh website show me a completely different pictures. May be it is the media to blame here. I just wish they would include more women participation in the organization or better yet, I don't understand why Sikh women aren't taking the lead in creating, planning, organizing these types of events for our young Sikh girls. I am sure there are a lot of Sikh women leaders out there that can organize, plan, hold these types of events. If they don't assert their Guru given right, these kinds of things will keep happening and Sikh organizations will end up being chauvanistic  organizations! I am hoping Mr. Surinder Singh will react to my email and include some women athletes, planners, organizers etc. to this Sikh organization and their website. As of today, it hasn't happened yet but things take time!

Here are some I could find for them to start with. I know there are a lot more prominent ones, but don't know the names. I had read about two women from Punjab that were going to go on a moutain climbing expedition, but can' find any info.

Great site for various sports personalities in India :

Harwant kaur Athletics

Manjit Kaur Athletics (also picture of her with medals)

Rupa Badwal

Neelam Jaswant Singh (Tested positive for banned drugs in 2005 and 2006)

Gurmeet Kaur
Gurmeet Kaur , track and Field and Bobby Aloysius provided the silver lining while Madhuri Singh earned a bronze as hosts India made an impressive debut in the track and field events of the inaugural Afro-Asian Games at the GMC Balayogi Stadium here today. Day one of athletics witnessed 10 finals and India figured among medals in three of them.
Away from the prying eyes, Gurmeet Kaur of Punjab created a solid impact on the field when she cleared 53.37 metres in her first attempt, which stood her in good stead to fetch the silver in the women's javelin throw. Gurmeet, who has a personal best of 59 metres, could not reproduce the same form in her subsequent attempts, but others fared no better, barring Vijoen Sunette of South Africa, who pocketed the gold.

Kamaljit Sandhu
Kamaljit Sandhu, the first Indian woman athlete to win an Asian Games gold in track and field events, feels that sports system in the country has "decayed". It is why, she says, neither she nor any one who knows sports, expected India on the medals tally at Sydney.
"Look at the Indian Olympic Association, sitting on a dunlop cushion, watching from a distance the performance of Indian athletes. True, there are some international sportspersons of yesteryears in IOA, but they are too busy fighting their own survival battles. The IOA mandarines have little time to monitor the progress of sports. Look at the case of thrower Ajit Bhaduria. What the AAFI (Athletics Federation) has done for his family. Where is the Sportsmen's welfare Fund ?," asks Kamaljit Sandhu.

Rupa Saini, who led Indian women's hockey team during its maiden appearance in Olympic Games in 1980 at Moscow, however, holds a clean chit for the Indian Olympic Association.
"It is indeed our sportspersons who desire no tryst for excellence. We are even far behind than other developing countries who have far less resources than us. See Ethiopia or Kenya or for that matte even Sri Lanka. Sweeping everything under the carpet for just one medal, and that too a bronze, is no consolation for a nation of one billion people. There is an urgent need to analyse our debacle. Every government since 1947 had been projecting infrastructure as priority sector. But nothing has happened.
"Nothing much was expected from our contingent at Sydney. Hats off to Karnam Malleshwari. Her medal, too, would have eluded India. Fortunately, she was sent to Sydney against wishes of many. And she had a foreign coach," adds Rupa Saini.

Olympian Rajbir Kaur, now an Officer in Punjab and Sind Bank at Jalandhar, is not surprised at the performance of Indian athletes at the first Olympic Games of the new millennium. Says she :" Indian hockey team was playing as if its hands were tied behind. The players lacked the 'killing instinct'. I feel fault was elsewhere.
"Coaches should be given more responsibility and time period to prove their skills. I wonder why M. K. Kaushik was changed inspite of the fact that he had been instrumental in enabling India win a gold in the last Asian Games. Same was the case with the goalkeeper who was replaced with an inexperienced one. The coaches should be given maximum responsibilities like team management."
Professor Gursewak Singh, a veteran sports organiser and member of the "Sports for all" Commission of the International Olympic Committee, blames the system for its inefficiency.
"The School Games Federation of India is defunct. When a player starts in college or university, he is too old to make any impression. If our sportsmen and women are incompetent, why blame the IOA. The National Sports Federations have best of the facilities, including foreign coaches, diet allowance and good training-cum-competition programme. Even the SAI cannot be faulted on this account. Inspite of a financial crunch, it provided best of the facilities to at least our national teams. If the Sydney debacle is not to be repeated, the resistance should come from within the sports fraternity, from sportspersons toiling for hours and on years to fashion a brave new world," added Professor Singh.

Pargat Singh, the only player to have led India in two consecutive Olympic Games, is deeply hurt at India's performance in the Olympics.
"All national sports federations are brimming with bureaucrats and politicians who have wittingly or unwittingly drifted the Indian sports ship towards a disaster. How many of the national sports federations are headed by sportspersons. All bodies are being run by non-technical and non-professional people, who are bereft of any knowledge. Over confidence has been the bane of the Indian sports scenario. While other countries prepare in advance for years, we keep boasting after a six months training camp that we are fully prepared. Is this the way to promote sports. We must expand our base and bring in only those to sports administration who have knowledge, time and dedication."

Sukhvir Singh Grewal, who played for India from1975 to 1990 and was the coach of Indian Olympic Hockey team to Barcelona Games (1992), says that "nothing has surprised him as he did not expect any miracles from Indian contingent. I agree we were close to a couple of more medals but that should not be a solace for a country with such a huge sports infrastructure.
"Problem lies in our sports administration. Both the State and the Sports Associations have not been discharging their duties effectively. The State is supposed to provide infrastructure and training and the Associations are supposed to organise competitions, do talent hunt and organise championships. Unfortunately while State has taken upon itself the role of organising championships and competitions, the Associations are getting into infrastructure building.

Punjab, once sports arms of the country, has virtually defunct District Olympic Associations. Take the case of hockey where police rules the roost. Is Punjab Hockey Association or District Hockey Associations are discharging the responsibilities expected of them? And if your answer is also no.... you get the answer why we cannot do well. Unless we have a pyramid model of sports - huge base with fine performers getting to the top - we cannot succeed."
Gurdishpal Singh, a former international hockey player and a national hockey selector (juniors), is "disappointed with yet another dismal performance by India in the Olympic Games.
"I wonder whether we are progressing or degenerating in sports. We have improved infrastructure and training facilities but results are nowhere. Participation base is shrinking. Playfields in schools and colleges remain unutilised.There is much more money and sponsorship in sports than what it was 20 years ago. But we are no more a power in Asian Games. We have gone down in track and field, wrestling and football... I mean in all sports. The malaise is deep rooted. Unless we have a mass base and entrust sports administration to right and dedicated people, we cannot make any progress."
Is the IOA listening?
In hammer throw, Hardeep Kaur of Punjab finished fourth with an effort of 58.11 metres in her sixth attempt. She had begun with 56.05, which was the second best of the first round, the best being the 61.14 metres recorded by Liu Yinghui of China. Yinghui went on to clear 68.03 metres with a massive heave in her last attempt which fetched her the gold while Zhad Wei, also of China, produced a best of 65.22 in her fifth attempt to lift the silver. Ahmed Marwa Hussain of Egypt took the bronze, with an effort of 60.60 in her third attempt.

Baljit adjudged fastest athlete
Our Sports Reporter
New Delhi, March 25Baljit Kaur of Ambala emerged as the fastest athlete when she claimed the 100 and 200 metres titles in the 15th Haryana State Women's Sports Festival held at Rewari.
In the 100m race, Baljit Kaur clocked 12.9 secs to claim the gold. She was followed by Mamlesh of Ambala and Saroj of Yamunanagar. In the 200m race, the same runners took the first three positions, with Baljit Kaur clocking 28.4 secs to bag the gold. Mamlesh and Saroj annexed the silver and bronze respectively. Renu Malik of Sonepat posted a time of 1:07.6 secs to claim the 400m gold, while Seema and Mukesh took the silver and bronze.

In the 800m, Paramjit of Ambala clocked 2:29.4 secs to win the gold with Renu Malik and Ram Bhateri of Bhiwani bagging the silver and bronze medal. Paramjit of Ambala ran to a golden double in the long distance races when she annexed the 1500m and 3000m gold medals. Paramjit clocked 5:06.0 secs in the 1500m while her timing in the 3000m was 10:59.39 secs. Renu Joon of Jhajjar and Renu Malik of Sonepat claimed the silver and bronze medals in the 1500 metres as well as the 3000 metres. Poonam of Hisar won the shot put title when she hurled the iron ball to a distance of 11.11 metres.


Blogger Mr. Singh said...

Probably not an athlete as such, but theres a girl from Leeds UK (kiran Matharu) who is supposed to be pretty good at golf.

1:57 PM, May 07, 2007  
Blogger Clifton said...

Good information about athletes & personal trainer sydney. There are a very few athletes remaining including Sikhs. Women are not taking up this very seriously. They have to work hard, exercise, take personal training,etc to become a good athlete.

4:14 AM, February 20, 2010  

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