IN ANOTHER attempt to convince the State authorities and decision makers to let them start badminton activities, Maharashtra Badminton Association officials met Maharashtra State Sports Minister Sunil Kedar at his residence in Nagpur and handed over a letter requesting him to help the players as well as coaches.
MBA President Arun Lakhani and secretary (tournaments) Mangesh Kashikar met Kedar and put forward the problems players as well as coaches are facing since last seven months in the State.
The officials urged Kedar to immediately look into the matter for the betterment of badminton fraternity. Since March, all the sporting activities came to a grinding halt.
Several badminton coaches are finding difficult to make ends meet. “Badminton is a non-contact sport and as such badminton activities have started on a full fledged scale in all parts of the country except in our State. Also, we assure you that if you give us permission to resume our activities, we will strictly follow SOPs laid down by Maharashtra Olympic Association and Government of Maharashtra,” read the letter from Lakhani, who also happens to be the Vice-President of Badminton Association of India (BAI).
“Coaches all over the State are suffering very severely as they have no income to survive. Similarly, many best players from our State have been left (with) no choice than to go to other States for practice and training thereby causing a big loss to our State,” added the letter.
Reminding the minister that many other activities have already been started, tried to draw the attention of the government towards badminton sport. “The Maharashtra Government has already initiated the unlock procedure and (has) issued several directives in resuming various activities in our State. While commercial establishments and restaurants have opened, I would humbly like to draw your attention towards the issue of resumption of sports activities in our State and particularly badminton activities in Maharashtra,” added the letter.
“We therefore humbly once again request you to allow the badminton activities of our State to resume with immediate effect.”
Earlier also over 200 coaches had written a letter to MBA President Lakhani and had also sent a copy to Badminton Association of India President Himanta Biswa Sarma, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and MBA Secretary SA Shetty requesting them to let them resume badminton activities in the State.