Chandigarh, May 29: Athletics Federation of India (AFI) on Sunday launched a Kids’ Javelin to sustain the momentum sparked by Neeraj Chopra’s Olympic Games gold medal in Tokyo. The Kids’ Javelin, designed and made by Vinex Sports, weighs just 300gm and will ensure safety of the athletes and everyone else around in the playfield. Neeraj Chopra himself launched the Kids’ Javelin through a video message from his overseas training location.
World Athletics Championships Long Jump silver medalist Anju Bobby George, AFI Senior Vice-President and 1962 Asian Games Decathlon gold medalist Gurbachan Singh Randhawa, AFI Selection Committee Chairman, were the first to receive the Kids’ Javelin from Vinex Sports Managing Director Ashuthosh Bhalla.
“We cannot let go of the spike in interest for athletics among youngsters in India. We had a Ball Throw event for Under-14 athletes, but we aim to replace that with the Kids’ Javelin Throw,” AFI President Adille J. Sumariwalla told a media conference at the end of the two-day Annual General Assembly Meeting of the Federation at Hotel Shivalik here on Sunday.
“We have firmed up plans to widen the base of athletics even further and to provide better support to the athletes in both the development and elite stage. We are galvanizing the State and District Associations to draw more youngsters to our sport. For the best athletes in the country, we have got coaches from overseas to help their evolution,” he said.
AFI Planning Committee Chairman Dr. Lalit K. Bhanot said the Federation was happy that athletes were showing improvement in many disciplines. “We are happy that we have three Triple Jumpers who have breached the 17m mark. We have grown in our traditional strength in the 400m and our young race walkers are showing promise,” he said.
In a major push towards digitalization across the board, AFI’s Units agreed to adopt an online entry system with an e-payment gateway for their respective State and Union Territory Championships. “Besides ensuring digital records of meets held around India, this move will help reduce the menage of age manipulation to a great extent,” Mr. Sumariwalla said.
He said AFI reiterated its zero tolerance policy against doping in the AGM. “We are working with the National Anti-Doping Agency to try and keep our sport clean at all levels. We are educating our athletes, sharing intelligence with NADA about coaches and others suspected to be either carrying prohibited substances or encouraging younger athletes,” he said.
AFI also amended its Constitution in keeping with the Government’s request for compliance with the National Sports Code. It also resolved to enhance the popularity of its flagship National Inter-District Junior Athletics Meet (NIDJAM). “We put systems and processes in place to ensure that track and field sport grows in the country,” Mr. Sumariwalla said.