In the recently culminated State Championship of the annual State Winter Games, the participants from Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering (IIS&M) levelled allegations against the organisers for allegedly fiddling the final results of the competition thereby leaving them in a state of despondency.
The Championship was organised by Winter Games Association of Jammu & Kashmir (WGAJK) under the auspices of Jammu and Kashmir State Sports Council (JKSSC) from the 23rd to 25th of March at Kongdori, Gulmarg.
The players of IIS&M, Baqir Hussain, Kashif Shafi, and Ishtiyaq Ahmad Bhat, who competed at the individual level in the State Championships, said that they despite having secured top three positions in Junior Alpine Ski Giant Slalom event, they were later deprived of their achievements and accolades.
‘It is ironic that the competitors who claimed 4th 5th and 6th positions respectively in the event were later awarded the top three places, the accolades and certificates instead of us by unfair means,’ the top three participants claim.
Moreover, they claim that they were neither awarded with their participation certificates nor provided with the soft copies of result.
‘Apart from certificates, the organisers renounced to provide even the soft copies of results to us when asked. Although as per the Federation of International Skiing, the competitors should be provided with soft copies of results,’ they rued.
They further allege that they were earlier barred from participating in the event, but after heated arguments, they were later allowed to participate.
‘On the pretext that players from IIS&M cannot participate in the event, the General Secretary WGAJK, Mohammad Yousuf compelled us to represent J&K in order to participate,’ they said and added, ‘However, we competed at individual level, but there is no such rule from JKSSC that aspirants from State can’t participate in the State Championship.’
According to them, some stakeholders of WGAJK chaired an emergent meeting soon after the event and decided to ‘nullify our achievements’ on the pretext that they have to represent J&K instead of IIS&M.
They said, ‘When we raised our concern they (Organizers) told us that top three position holders are meant to represent the State, and we have to represent State instead of IIS&M for claiming achievements.’
Meanwhile, saying that the WGAJK had although proposed them to represent J&K team but on the other hand the association refused them to provide necessary facilities.
‘WGAJK refused to provide us with accommodation, equipment, and other facilities that IIS&M provides us. We are students and can’t afford such expenses,’ they said.
They further said that they only want their certificates and medals of the same championship.
‘We have no plans to represent J&K, but our only demand is to award our achievements,’ they add.
However, when contacted, President WGAJK, Mohammad Abbas Wani, who is also the MLA of Gulmarg Constituency, said that the result and certificates of these players ‘ would be kept on hold’ till these players will not represent Jammu & Kashmir team for National Championship.
‘Association has to concentrate on players who can represent Jammu & Kashmir team. There is no acceptance that these players first participate for State championship and later will represent IIS&M for Nationals,’ he said.
He further said that WGAJK Association had asked them to present affidavit before them mentioning that ‘they will represent J&K team for nationals in future after quitting IIS&M,’ but they refused.
‘They cannot represent both IIS&M and J&K team at the same time. These players need to provide an affidavit so that they can claim their achievements,’ he said and added, ‘They have to decide whether they want to represent state or IIS&M. If they agreed to represent the state, only then they are in a position to claim their achievements.’
He assured that these position winners would stand selected for National Championship once they decide to play for the state team.
‘We are desirous and making serious efforts to make our State team competitive and professional, so we are eager to welcome these capable players in J&K team if they are willing to be the part of State team. We will provide them with all such facilities that other players of association are availed,’ Abbas adds.