The occasion of May Day remained momentous for young archers across India as they performed their best at the Khelo India Zonal Archery Tournament on Sunday. The tournament, organized by the Archery Association of India (AAI), saw participation from 600 archers across 4 Zones. The venues were Sports Authority of India National Centres of Excellence (NCOEs) in Sonepat, Imphal, Kolkata, Guwahati and Aurangabad.
Recurve and Compound Archers (Men and Women) participated across the Senior, Junior and Sub-Junior Categories at the SAI NCOEs. AAI in collaboration with SAI came up with the tournaments with an objective to enhance domestic competitions and ensure mass participation to broad base and allow interested athletes from the nearby Zonal States to come and compete. It has also been decided to host the Khelo India Monthly Archery Competitions on the 1st Sunday of every month.
Union Minister of Sports for Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Anurag Singh Thakur had mentioned the importance of organising such competitions during the launch of the Khelo India Women’s Hockey League (Under 21) in New Delhi last year. He had said, “Competitions and exposures like these are important for any athlete and if we keep organizing them, the athletes will not only get a chance to play a lot of times in a year but also be prepared for further important tournaments coming up for them. SAI has organized the Khelo India league tournaments keeping this in mind and I thank the federations too for providing the opportunity for these youngsters.”
Eminent Dignitaries including Padma Shri & Arjuna Awardee Bombayla Devi Laishram, and Arjuna Awardee Mangal Singh Champia graced the tournament with their presence as a Guest of Honour, at SAI Kolkata centre on Sunday. With the AAI mission ‘Har Ghar Archery Har Gaon Archery’ in mind, the main aim of the tournament is to enhance domestic competition, mass participation and to give an opportunity to the Archers.
The Khelo India Archery Tournaments (Senior, Junior & Sub Junior) is also being held in coordination with the respective State Associations who are providing all the technical help in conducting the tournaments.
Total participation figures:
NCOE Sonepat (North Zone): 190
NCOE Kolkata (East Zone): 75
NCOE Aurangabad (West Zone): 151
NCOE Guwahati (North-East Zone): 52
NCOE Imphal (North-East Zone): 118