Asian Games equestrian team in fix over funding  

Apurva Dabhade, one of the riders to compete at the Asian Games, in a letter to the EFI, expressed his deep concern.

Published: 09th June 2023 08:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th June 2023 08:11 AM   |  A+A-

A venue of the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022 in Hangzhou.(Photo | AP)

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: There has been quite a commotion within the equestrian fraternity after a letter was circulated among probables of the Asian Games.

According to a letter by the Equestrian Federation of India, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) will not be funding Asian Games contingent in the near future.  

"It is with great dismay that the Federation is constrained to intimate you that it has been conveyed to the EFI by the SAI that no funding is being made available in the near future for the equestrian contingent for the Asian Games," said the letter. "While the Federation greatly desires to support each athlete to achieve the individual dream to represent India, even more, the desire of sending a contingent of each discipline of the equestrian sport it appears that due to apathy (of) govt agencies, it may not be feasible to field the teams in the three equestrian disciplines at the 19th Asian Games."

Apurva Dabhade, one of the riders to compete at the Asian Games, in a letter to the EFI, expressed his deep concern. In the letter marked to SAI and IOA officials as well, he said "I am writing to express my deep concern and disappointment regarding the recent communication from the SAI, informing us that no funding will be made available for the equestrian contingent to participate in the upcoming Asian Games.

"As a dedicated and aspiring athlete, I have wholeheartedly committed myself to the sport and have actively pursued my dream of representing India. Over the past two years, I have participated in nine selection trials held in India, diligently following the selection criteria set by the federation. Throughout this process, I have spared no effort, including importing horses and investing a substantial amount of money to ensure that I meet all the necessary parameters."

"However, the challenges I encountered did not end there. Following the completion of the selection trials in India, I was informed that my horse could not travel to China due to veterinary protocols. As per the federation's instructions, I made the difficult decision to relocate to Europe and embarked on a quest to find a suitable horse who competed at the Olympics that would enable me to compete at Asian Games 2023."

"Given the immense dedication, financial investment, and personal sacrifices I have made, it is disheartening to learn that the government agencies responsible for funding sports initiatives are exhibiting apathy towards our equestrian contingent. The lack of financial support not only affects my individual aspirations but also hinders the federation's ability to field teams in all three equestrian disciplines at the prestigious 19th Asian Games."


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